i could say that it pissed me off… when really it was a disappointment. during an excursion today with some students, i sat quietly in the back seat next to a young woman in a car driven by a guy and his buddy. the conversation was about NY and being a New Yorker… the young woman had stated that several people become surprised and are in awe when she says she’s lived in the Bronx.
then…she goes into this entire stereotypical schpiel using an exaggerated Hispanic accent about long fake nails and blah blah blah, i tuned her out when i first heard the accent…
yes. it certainly got my goat. i think, GOD DAMNIT! then, i think, perhaps i’ll embarass her by asking her a couple of questions in Spanish… i opted to just keep my mouth shut.
people are people. they don’t think that there might be a person sitting next to them that might belong to the particular group they’re making fun of. they don’t think. they assume.
assume that they know what someone who lives in the Bronx is like. they assume they know what Hispanic women are all about. it’s all cut and dried for them.
well, get this: i like Radiohead and Celia Cruz, i love John Irving and Maurice Sendak, i’ve owned a Lounge Lizards vinyl, i’ve danced with members of the Limon dance company, i’ve run a marathon and trained by myself. i’ve done the cross country trek from NY to Cali and back… i’ve practiced IM injections on gerbils, i’ve put jugular catheters in horses, i’ve taken 2 semesters of German and know Spanish (read and write too), i’ve aced hematology exams, i’ve sized mens and women’s rings and learned other benchwork jeweler’s do. i can carry 14 stacked dinners, i can sling hash and rattle off orders in lingo you’d never be able to decipher unless you were the cook. i’ve dated dutch englishmen, irishmen, germans, and more irishmen…hmmm… i’ve gone to gay weddings, straight weddings, and stayed away from having a wedding…a damned smart thing to do… i have published poets as my friends, i’ve sent postcards to prisoners in other countries, i’ve gone from a C- average in histology to a B+ (he wouldn’t give me the A i earned because he said it wouldn’t be fair, go figure)
i’ve been shoved around and still not broken. lied to and still remain fairly honest.
ah. screw it. hopefully one day, she’ll realize that the girl that sat next to her that day, was Puerto Rican, and a lesson will be learned.