Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What does it mean to "look" like something

For the last few weeks the new cleaning lady in my building would always talk to me in English and my coworker in Spanish. I would say hello to her in Spanish but her replies were always in English. Then one day as I was watching the Spanish news, she asked, "Can you understand that?" Really? I work at Telemundo; one would assume I speak Spanish. Then again you should never assume because there are MANY people who work in Spanish media who probably don't speak a word of it.

Her next comment after finding out I was a Jersey-born Colombian was, "Wow I thought you were white." Really though? Granted I did not give her a stank face nor judged her but really? What does it mean to look white or Latino or Asian? How many generalizations and stereotypes are we going to give our gente? I honestly didn't mind it at all but then I thought way too deep in it...just because she's an older Puerto Rican woman as well. Then I thought to myself, "A lot of people in this community think I'm Puerto Rican." Is it because I live in Philly and like to help out? I don't know.

Back in college some people thought I was mixed with some Asian...more Chinese than anything. Not really sure where that comes from but people have said it's either because of my hair and/or my eyes. Racism alert! lol. Again I have no clue why we like to judge people based on their skin, hair, eyes, dress and everything in between. Here I am judging people when I know I have done it in the past. America...the land of opportunity based on what you look like. That's my rant for the day :).
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