I grew up knowing what it felt like being in the minority. I never considered myself different than the other kids in school until I revealed in the 4th grade that I was half Puerto Rican. My teacher discovered (cannot remember how) that I was bi-racial. She was fascinated and asked if I would create a short presentation of my roots. I was glad to do it; this doey eyed innocent little girl who held no shame about being “different”. I brought pictures, wrote out the alphabet and showed the kids how to pronounce each letter. Afterwards I received accolades from the teachers and even gave a presentation to the 5th grade class.
Little was I to know then the drama that would unfold through my childhood and teenage years for being the mixed child. Kids would call me names (and the wrong racial slurs also). I was called a wetback though Spic was the more appropriate term. Had rocks thrown at me, was spat upon all because my father decided to marry an island girl who was a little more brown than others and spoke with a beautifully lilting accent.
Racism springs from the lie that certain human beings are less than fully human. It’s a self-centered falsehood that corrupts our minds into believing we are right to treat others as we would not want to be treated.