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Maybe They’ve Seen the Blog…

As a journalism major it is required that I spend one semester writing for my university’s paper. Each student is given a topic that we must report on twice a week. I was “randomly” assigned to national minority issues. I think my first story should be about how the one brown person in the class somehow managed to get that.

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Slave Day

I recently took a trip to Vernal, Utah to help my sister with a concert for her work. We spent the day at Uintah High School- “Home of the Utes” – and more importantly… racists. Apparently, the Student Council decided that for Spirit Week a good theme would be “Slave Day.” I can understand (maybe) having the idea pop through your head… for one half of a second, but to go through the process of making it an official day? Where/who are the administrators of this school? I recognize that this is a small town in Utah, but there has to be someone with the common sense (or decency) to shoot down this proposal. I think what is the most unsettling to me is the disturbing illustration that took the opportunity to draw chains and an evil cackle on the promotional sign. On a plus side, both of the people appear white.

Band-Aids

Band-aids used to be a common example of white privilege, but not anymore. I know you’ve probably seen these ethnic-friendly band-aids online and thought “Hey, that’s kind of weird.” But guess what, they’re not weird. You’re weird. You see, band-aids are only the tip of the iceberg for brown people in America and frankly we’re tired of being forgotten. Do you know the name of the brown or black barbie dolls? Didn’t think so.

Without further ado, I would like to show one of these bad boys in action. This picture comes from our D.C. correspondent, Liz, who took this picture. In case you can’t see it is on the middle of his left calf, it just blends in so well that it may be hard to see.  Win!

 

The only disappointing part about this post is the fact that multicultural band-aids were invented only after band-aids that look like bacon.

“Midgees”

Technically this doesn’t belong on the blog because it doesn’t deal with brownness, but it is still an inappropriate find that needs to be commented on. On our trip to San Francisco, SJ was craving tootsie rolls so we stopped at Target to get some. Instead of getting the average brown kind, she decided that what she really wanted was the fancy white vanilla tootsie rolls. I know that I could go in-depth into that, but what I really want to emphasize is the politically incorrect label on the Tootsie Roll wrapper. Out of all the words that a company can think of to signify small, cute tootsie rolls was “midgees” really the best option that they had?

El Grito

Happy Mexican Independence Day to you all. As I’m sure you know, today marks 200 years of Mexico’s Independence from Spanish rule and 100 years of its Revolution that began in 1910 and toppled the dictator Porfirio Diaz (and I definitely did not copy and paste that from a Wikipedia page).

However, the real reason I wanted to blog today was to show this amazing icon I found on Google. I’m thinking of getting it made into a decal for my car.

As many of you know, I work on campus as a secretary in the paint shop. Along with student employees, BYU has hired about 15 full-time workers who are older and work as phase leaders on the paint projects around campus. Because I am such an excellent secretary, I know all their names and will wave to them when I see them around the school. There is one worker that you need to know in particular for this story. His name is Victor Pinto, and you guessed it, is Mexican. I would peg his age to be around 55 and he speaks with a strong Spanish accent. Well, the other day I was walking out of one of my classes with a girl whom I had sat next to. We were making small talk when I saw Victor, so I waved to him as we were walking past. The girl then proceeded to ask me, “Oh, is that your dad?”

Umm… What the hell people?

Of all my inappropriate encounters with people, I think this stands at the top of the list. Just because I may wave occasionally to people that share my ethnicity does not mean that I am related to them. Even if she did have the idea pop into her head that he might be my dad, I would have hoped that she would have kept it to herself unless I commented on it. Plus, earlier in the conversation the girl had asked me where I was from and I said “Idaho”, meaning that she was obviously not paying attention to the fact that my family doesn’t live here. I think the worst part is she asked it so innocently (she’s an Elementary Education major from Orem… you know the type) and didn’t realize that she had done anything socially unacceptable.

Nevertheless, let us set aside our difference on this day of celebration and give a grito for Independence and a big “Viva Mexico!”

Fork in the Road

Thank you Indiana for keeping it real. I’m not sure who exactly is allowed to choose the names for cities but I have to complain about their lack of imagination. Colors with a ‘burg’ or ‘town’ stuck at the end of it? Haven’t you heard of Spunky Puddle, Ohio or Monks Hammock, Louisiana? Obviously the people who named those were enlightened.

The  sign makes me think of the Dr. Seuss classic, “The Sneetches”, which was later made into a crowd-pleasing production by my seventh grade drama class. I gave a harrowing performance as Narrator #1. Just like the star-bellied Sneetches and the Sneetches with none upon thars learned at the end of the book, let us remember that “no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.”

Rogue Landscaper

I was reflecting the other day about the summer that I worked for the Boise Intermountain Gas Company. As a Service Technician (a title that I gave myself to put on resumes) my job was to drive out in the morning and walk from house to house scanning gas meters. In newer developments this was fine, but at a lot of houses you had to semi break-in because the meters were behind the fences. This made the day interesting because you could get accidentally locked in/ interrupt birthday parties/ be attacked by cats/ yelled at for “frightening my children”…. Overall a great job. Working the job with me were three other people, and we divided into two cars with one brown person and one white person in each (No natural segregation here). To scan the meters we were given a backpack with a computer (which was referred to as “the jet pack” to give you a visual) that connected to a hand-held scanner. One day my brown counterpart was scanning in a neighborhood when two police cars showed up, complete with sirens, lights, and a megaphone. After asking him to “drop his weapon” he was then questioned on what he was doing in the backyards and if he could show proof of work. Because his bright green Intermountain Gas shirt, name badge, and hat were not enough. Meanwhile I was at a gas station filling up the company truck when a police woman walked up to me and asked me who I worked for. She wanted to know if I was in any way related to the “rogue landscaper” call that she had just heard over the radio. Apparently, a neighborhood member had seen my coworker walking down the streets carrying a gun and was ready to kill because he was crazy from his life as a second-class citizen. I wonder what made her think that I was an associate of the “rogue landscaper”- the fact that our shirts were the same color… or that our skin was.