Friday, May 10, 2013

Immigrants

This post is brought to you by
the letter 'I'


Today, I want to talk (briefly, very briefly) about a set of words that aren't technically bad words, but when you hear them, you know they are.

Immigrant. 

Illegal alien.

Now, of course not every one that says them, says them in a slimy way. They don't always sound like a racial slur, and in fact neither is. 

But as a Mexican woman in California, both are words of much contention.

I'm gonna share a TRUE story from my childhood. 

In third grade, one day we had a substitute teacher. Our school day started with the class standing up and reciting the pledge of allegiance (like most children's day in this country). When our class stood up, the substitute announced to me and to the class that I could take my seat. I didn't need to recite the pledge of allegiance because I was not an American, I was just an immigrant. So I didn't need to join in. I was a little kid, I was embarrassed, and confused, and I didn't really know what he was talking about. It felt wrong, but I thought I had done something wrong. It was a shitty moment. It's still a crappy memory. 

Thanks, racist idiot.







10 comments:

  1. That sucks. I'm sorry that happened. Weird - today my daughter's classs is doing Immigration Simulation - they go back on our family tree and become one of their relatives coming through New York in 1900.

    Hope that substitute learned a thing or 20 between then and now.

    Keep on running!

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    1. 20 yrs? I wish! I just hope he's not still teaching.

      That is a great project!

      For mothers day I'm running my first 1hr run in 2+ yrs. I'm so excited :)

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  2. Son of a bitch! Did you tell your parents? Do you remember his name? Let's go to his house right now.

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    1. Jenn you are sometimes a women of few words, but often the right words. :)

      I don't remember his name, he only subbed the one day. To be honest, I don't think I said tell my parents. He shamed me, and I think even at that age I knew it would hurt them to know it happened. I'm gonna talk to them about it. Maybe I'll update...

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  3. wow - I wonder if that dumb sonofabitch actually thought he was doing you a favor! I hope he wasn't really just trying to embarrass you - what a shitty thing to do.

    I remember doing a family tree project like Joy - except all we had to do was trace our family back to when they came to this country. It was a awkward presentation for some of the kids - one of whom *couldn't* trace his family back because he got as far as a great grandfather who was a slave and no other records existed - and another who traced her family so far back it was possible they were slave owners in Louisiana.

    The teacher handled it very well though, talking about how everyone in the room came from an immigrant family, and how we are all more alike than different now.

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    1. That was a great way to handle the situation. Sounds like a good teacher.

      I do now as an adult feel like that was his intention (to embarrass me), those were his honest opinion, and he wasn't gonna get an argument or debate from a kid that age.

      It was what it was. I'm proud of who I am, so he didn't get to define me.

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  4. Asshole! I wanna beat him up. In his face.

    -The Insomniacs Dream

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  5. Holy balls, I'm so pissed I can't even...What!? This makes me want to hunt him down and get all punchy up in his nether region.

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    1. thanks. Luckily I got over that shit quick. Most people around me were awesome.

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