I have never really noticed my oppressions and privileges until we did the Privilege exercise I didn’t notice how little things were thought to be privileges. I knew my life had barriers such as my race and but I figured the way people treated because of my skin tone was “normal.” I was born in Denton, Texas when my mom was only 16 years old. My life growing up was different then somebody whose parents were 25 or 30 my mother had to grow up fast to raise a baby. My dad of course was still a teen and was working two jobs just to support my family. Although my parents were Hispanic teens with a baby the last thing they wanted was to be trapped in this “average life for Hispanics.” My parent’s oppressions where what motivated them to move and start a new life with new perspectives and not let their barriers of their race and class determines what they could do. That being said I was raised in small town Sanger, Texas population at the time and up until 2006 was about 4,500. I started kindergarten here so the people I grew up with were the same ones I graduated with.
The majority race was of course white and there were a total of five Hispanics and two African Americans. Since we were all so little race didn’t seem to matter, there was never really discrimination until middle school when we began playing other schools in sports whose majority were Hispanics and African Americans. They would look at us hanging out with the white kids and say rude things like white-wannabes; you know you’re not white right? The one I can remember very vividly is when we were playing basketball and on the court this Hispanic girl says to me “you know you aint white right? Why you trying to pretend to be something you’re not, you’re a disgrace to the all the Mexicans.” That night I went home and cried because I had no idea I was a disgrace and I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. I knew both languages and my culture and traditions were still a big part of my life. So the way the inequality and equality played in was backwards it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good.
Hispanics and African Americans came in to Sanger all the time but they didn’t like it and would only stay a couple of months and leave. It wasn’t a horrible place people were very nice so I never had oppressions that were because of my race in a negative way by people of other races, it was my same race. The only thing that was negative towards my race was when I was a senior in high school we got a new academic counselor and when I went to ask for my final transcript to be mailed she said “you’re going to college? I didn’t know people like you actually went to college. Don’t you have kids to raise? Oh hell no! I was so mad that I told that lady more than I should have! My parents worked hard to give me and my sisters a different hand of cards rather than the ones they were dealt. When we did the privilege exercise there were many different things that surprised me. I didn’t know it was a privilege to not skip a meal because of not enough money.
My parents always had something for us to eat even if it something that wasn’t our favorite. So in that way I was privileged growing up. The other thing was if your parents had ever told you that you were beautiful,, smart and capable my mom told me that on a daily basis she told me it didn’t matter how hard she worked she was going to get me through college and show me that you don’t have to live by a label. Most of the Hispanic girls that came into Sanger and left I am still in contact with and all of them have a baby. I am more than blessed to have been raised the way I was. I was the first women on both my father and mothers side to graduate high school without any kids and the first women to attend a university. I have been called white-washed at first it bothered me but now it’s just something I know and that’s the reason I have gone far and broke boundaries that were set for me. I would say I am more privileged than my Hispanic girls I know and I am beyond blessed for that. I guess it’s not all about your race and gender and class but about your surroundings and what you’re willing to take.
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Topic: Situate Yourself
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