Well, if you haven’t already guessed it this post is about race/ethnicity and all the fun things that come along with it! But before I continue I’d like to point out that I’m not some extreme activist that considers myself mistreated in the world. I don’t join Hispanic leadership organizations, or multicultural events. For more insight on this, check out my post about Kate Hunt: Kate Hunt’s Deal and the Rest of the World.
Now that that’s clear, let’s move on. This post isn’t about the injustice in the world, it’s about the shit that people do that pisses me off. Practically my entire life, I’ve always been asked the question, “What are you?” I generally respond with, “Human,” only to receive blank stares in return. So there’s no confusion, I will explain. I am 100% Dominican. Both my parents were born in the Dominican Republic, and moved here to the U.S. when they were young, attending school here for a big part of their childhood. My parents both met in NYC, not the Dominican Republic. As for me, I was born in Boston, MA.
But most people don’t ever guess that, not that they are to blame. The comment that I get all the time, and hate the most is: “You’re black right?” Or, “Wait, you’re not black?” Or, “Oh, everyone thinks you’re black.” Or (when speaking to someone else about me), “Oh, you mean that black kid?” So that’s been my life for the past 22 years, and at this point I’ve gotten so used to it, I usually just laugh along and ignore it; but there are times where behind my smile lies a rage big enough to rip someone’s throat out.
I know what you’re thinking so let me stop you right there and explain. I am well aware that being Hispanic is not a race, and that Hispanic individuals are generally made up of multiple races (most commonly white, black, and Native American); but let’s get something clear. When someone asks me if I’m black, what they’re really asking is if I’m African American…which I’m not. It’s not like by saying, “You’re black right?” they are actually saying, “I know you’re a Hispanic male, with a mix of multiple races that may or may not include black.” The thing is that it’s actually pretty obvious that I am a Hispanic male (and if my appearance isn’t a giveaway, my last name sure as hell is), but if you’ve lived in a predominately white neighborhood you’re entire life in which everyone’s skin is the same shade as you then I suppose I can see why everyone with a darker skin tone may seem black. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being African American, it’s just not what I am. In fact, I’ve gotten many other confusions too such as Puerto Rican, Mexican, or Brazilian; but African American is generally the most common one.
What I think just pisses me off the most about this is that everyone seems to think it’s some kind of joke. Everyone always laughs at my expense. And I’ll hear things like, “You’re friends with a black guy?” Or, “Oh, I didn’t know you had a black friend.” Even if I was black, WHY THE FUCK DOES IT MATTER? Why do you find it so hilarious that you’re friends with a black a guy, or a Hispanic guy, or pretty much someone that doesn’t look like you? I’ve never brought a friend home, and had my parents say, “Oh, your friend is white!”…or Asian, or black, or Jewish. Why is it that society has to brand me so? If I tell you I’m Dominican, does that really tell you who I am? No. So, why can’t I just be me…why do I have to be the ‘black’ friend?
Oh, but it gets worse. I grew up living in a city my whole life, and with cities always comes a plethora of stupid, ignorant, uneducated, and ghetto people. There is nothing I hate more in this world than stupid, ignorant, uneducated, and ghetto people. So when I left from Philly to State College to go to school 4 years ago, I told myself that one day I would no longer have to surround myself with those people. But everyone once in a while I’ll encounter those type of people again who also happen to be either black or Hispanic, and what I get when I meet and talk to them is, “Boy you ain’t Hispanic, you white. You white as they come.” FOR FUCKS SAKE PEOPLE, CAN I EVER WIN…SERIOUSLY. As if it was bad enough I have white people calling me black because of the way I look, but now I have ignorant black and Hispanic people calling me white because of the way I talk, because of the way I act, because I’m educated, because of what I like. It’s like I’m stuck in this sort of limbo that is my life, in which there really is no hope for me anymore. Are there any good people left in the world, because it seems like I have yet to meet them.
The sad part is that even after reading this people just won’t understand. They’ll look at me as some over dramatic ethnic fuck who just wants to bitch about the injustices of the world. No, I just want to not think anymore that every time I meet a new person they’re giggling in their head because they just made a black friend, or judging me because I act too white. Because every time you laugh, or every time you judge it rips another piece of my soul. One day there will be nothing left, and I’ll come back and haunt you like Voldemort; only this time you’ll have ripped it so many times, you’ll never be able to find all the horcruxes.
Sorry to disappoint, but this is me and I’m not going anywhere.