A society of UNITY or role play?
Hi, I'm Kyrsty. I'm 27% Native American, 16% Spanish, 13% French, 10% Portuguese, 9% Colombian, Venezuelan, Costa Rican, 9% Italian, 6% Irish, 4% African, 1.5% Greek, 1.5% Jewish, 1% each German, Russian, and Norwegian. Woo! That's a mouth full.
My mom's family immigrated here from Mazatlán, Mexico because my grandpa had the courage to cross that border line despite the hardships minorities faced. My mom had 6 sisters, and dropped out of school to help my grandpa work in the fields. She later became the proud director of a preschool for migrant workers - understanding the challenges the paren
ts and children both faced first hand. She has a heart of gold. She is my hero.
My dad's family is from the beautiful country of Costa Rica. His mother came here at his birth, where he grew up in the very rough parts of East LA with 7 other courageous
siblings. His childhood was filled with adversity, and watching your back was a way of survival. He later became the master of all trades. He is one of the most driven, determined and successful persons I know. He is my biggest mentor.
I took this past Sunday off from everything. I didn't look at the clock or technology for the entire day. I read, I walked, and I reflected a lot on the current tragic events in our country. How have I been impacted? How have I or how can I contribute? I suppose I thought I had nothing to say because I knew I wasn’t racist. I am a minority myself, I work for an incredible black man, I’m related to my half black niece, and all of my friends are of different races. But the longer I walked the more I reflected and the more it revealed. Why did I feel unresolved anger, confusion, and pain? I thought of my childhood… I grew up in a small town by the Mexico border where the people are 95% minority, and 5% white. And yet my spanish is spanglish, and I was teased for being “white washed”. But the truth is my inner child created this role out of self protection for the stigma that “mexican” held. Looking back I believe I subconsciously didn't want to learn spanish even though my entire family spoke it. It was the only way I could communicate with my grandparents, and initially my own mother!
Even though it was never spoken somehow as a child I had learned from society that being a minority was unfavorable. It definitely wasn’t “cool”. So, I wanted my friends to be white (yikes that was hard to say, but there was this gravitation to be “normal”). Without being consciously aware I was ashamed of my race and embarrassed to be a minority. I suppose as a child I suppressed it because it never dawned on me it was wrong. I just accepted that that was “the way it is”. The funny thing is now I get angry at myself, that I am not fluent in spanish! Ha. Now that I am comfortable being my true self, not my role self, I am so damn proud of my heritage, I forget I even felt those things as a child. I don’t see people through a colored lens. When I got hired it never even crossed my mind do I want to work for a black person? I saw him as a brother in Christ, and nothing less.
With that being said, it’s not enough to work for a person of color, or to be related to a person of color or to even be a person of color myself if I just accept that that is “the way it is”. And, my future children, and my nieces and nephews shouldn’t have to grow up in a world where society makes them create a role self because they feel ashamed of being their true self. I am also aware I was not brutally persecuted and my story may pale in comparison; this is not to compare or to undermine the injustice that has occurred to black people. But, I do have a Voice, and I think this is where social media and the internet can be a platform to transform and educate as we pursue Unification. I am not done reflecting because I want to use this suppressed energy in an authentic way for change. So, I am not here to say I have the answers to the change, but that I would like to do better to be a part of that change. I can confidently say all of this because I do not need your validation or your sympathy or if you disagree your criticism, to accept my self worth as a minority. I can freely express and stand because Black Lives do Matter. Brown Lives Matter. White lives matter. All lives matter. And, I hope we continue to stand for Unity in peaceful effective ways, and not shy away from the uncomfortableness or denial of very real wounds. “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the UNITY of the spirit through the bond of Peace.” Eph 4:2-3
Want to learn more yourself, but not sure where to start? Obama.org has done an incredible job at providing resources from how to talk to your children to taking community action among other things like therapy, donating and political initiatives.