Food and Social Class
Generally my family eats Puertorican food because thats who we are, but there are times when my family will indulge in asian cuisine because of the fact that the Bay Area is populated by so many asians, their culture is obviously spread onto almost every piece of the area out here. We learned to love it, but our dinner table will always consist of Puertorican food.
By means of social status I would say that Puertorican food is relatively low, there’s not as many Puertoricans as there are Mexicans in the Bay Area. We are seen as a minority within a minority, exotic, outnumbered, and in some cases frowned upon. Everyone expects for it to be “Mexican food” and are shocked and disappointed when they realize it is not something they are familiar with. It can have a bad connotation to those who are not already familiar with my culture. Cultural status is at an equilibrium; everyone on the island of Puerto Rico eats the same food, so whether you’re there or in California it doesn’t matter what you eat because you’re all one in the same.
Eating habits I would say differ from most American households. I was always raised to eat every single meal on my kitchen table with he entire family, we were not to have any electronics out or take our attention away from each other. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were a time to spend talking to each other and bonding, it is disrespectful to eat anywhere but the kitchen table. As a child I always thought that was common, I figured all of my friends (regardless of their ethnicity) did this, but soon realized I was wrong. I learned that a lot of people eat in different parts of their house, don’t talk to one another, or even eat in their room which was a HUGE no in my house.
All of my friend groups consist of relatively similar looking physical or external appearance, but I have felt tokenized in quite a few of them. My weight and my skin color plays a large role in my feelings of being an ?outcast”; I often feel like the “token fat friend” of a group. All of my friends are very thin and in the past I used to be too, it wasn’t until recently that IO gained a lot of weight and that took an emotional toll on me, as well as an obvious physical one. I stand out in all of my friend groups for being a lot heavier than everyone else and that’s lead me to have low self esteem. My skin color also makes me feel tokenized, I am Latino but look like a white guy. My friends are a grand majority of POC, mainly African American and Latinos. Being the only person that is so fair skinned makes me the butt end of almost every joke, and even though I know my friends love and care for me the way I do for them, it still hurts to feel like I will never truly fit in.
People often draw the conclusion that I’m just some fat white kid, which I in no way am. I may be a little thicker than I used to be and that’s okay because I can change it, but I am never going to be caucasian. My skin color often leads me to have a more privileged life due to colorism in this country, and my weight raises more sympathy than necessary. Overall my physical appearance allows me to have a good life, but not one I asked for.
Audio Essay Pitch In
I’ll be writing about my experience being a white looking Latino and how isolating it was for me to be rejected from my own community, and also the community others claimed I looked like (Latino and White). The essay will start off by going into depth about how deep my Latino roots go and then transition into my experience being isolated, and then completely shutting out one side of me and only embracing the other.
The tensions and conflicts are both internal and external. I will be dealing with a lot of cognitive dissonance, that being me thinking and believing in one way but acting in another. This will mainly end up revolving around my pride of being Mexican, but acting like I’m not in order to be accepted. My progression of conflicts often times end up being more internal because I was ashamed of who I was, for how I looked, and how I let people treat me even till this day.
I have a lot of Latino cultural understanding to offers and some focus on colorism. Colorism is being prejudice of someone based on how dark or light their skin tone was, it is a byproduct of racism but is in no way anything less. My experience with racism in regards to caucasian culture and Latino culture are very different, but the hate I got with colorism was generally the same; I was pushed away from those I wanted to find common ground with and excluded with those who I identified as. Overcoming both shows perseverance and the learning experience of emotional strength.
- All seemed generally good
Free writing Essay 1
From a young age, around 4 and 5, I experienced discrimination within my own community. As a Latino, the stereotypical image one would think if is a dark or brown skinned individual, wavy or curly hair, and speaks perfect Spanish. I am bilingual and biliterate, meaning I can speak, read and write in Spanish; I have short wavy hair, but I have fair/lily white skin. Growing up, none of my friends believed me when I would say I was Mexican (I’m half Mexican and half puertorican); them being paisas and very dark complected, they would joke that I’m just some white kid. Logically they knew I was Latino but for some reason they never truly accepted me, I was always ostracized and isolated. Never seeming to fit in amongst those who I had a true connection with. It wasn’t until I started to embrace my Puertorican heritage whole heartedly, and introducing myself as such that people began to believe me. Not many people know exactly what a Puertorican looks like, so when they hear that you claim to be one, it’s common for people to just believe you. I found a sudden change amongst my friend group as they learned I was Puertorican. All of them were either amazed or told each other, “I knew it, that makes sense!”. Still, it always bugged me that know one accepted me as a Mexican and only liked me as a Puertorican. As time went on and I grew up and went to middle school and high school, I started to become depressed. I realized that the entire Latino community’s first reaction to me was rejection until I claimed to be Puertorican, everyone still saw me as “that white kid”; this pushed me to always have to prove my worth, I had to be more extra Latino so that my community could accept me and not mistake me as someone I wasn’t. High school was tough for me and made finding friends difficult; the asians at my school only hung out with each other, the white people rejected me because they knew I was Latino, and the Latinos rejected me because they thought I was white. I didn’t know what to do or where to turn to.
Regarding the topic of Literacy Narratives, I think they tend to be very introspective.
- Ostracized amongst Latinos
- Puertorican heritage
- depression began at a young age
- Separation from Mexicans lead to slowly losing my bilingualism
- Friend group became mainly African Americans
- What did I learn about myself?
- Who am I?
- How did this make me feel?
The first essay emphasizes the importance of oral presentation, a bit more than the writing composition. You must be able to compose both a written assignment and include audio, whether its environmental acoustics or a musical piece. I know some strengths I have are in writing in general, I consider myself to be a fairly good writer, so the composition of the essay will come along easier than expected. The part I will have trouble with is combining the audio; I know I’m not a huge tech person so I don’t know how to record the song over me reading my essay. The easiest way to learn is through youtube, there are probably resources to help me figure out how to combine the tech part.
I think this is a very good introspective assignment, I will be learning a lot more about myself as I recount and address the racial struggles and identity crisis’ I’ve faced throughout my life.
Summary response to Rocio Flores:
The racial discrimination of black people in both the U.S. and Jamaica is vastly different. A person of color would not be taunted in Jamaica the way they would in the U.S.; specifying on police brutally, black people are more likely to get killed than any other race. Social classes also play a part in informing others of the struggles everyone faces in their day to day lives. Any comedic relief applied to social classes or racial discrimination can sensitize the issues in order to make them relatable to a broader audience.
Group name: Brandon, Vanessa and Aaron
- Hillbilly gave a personal perspective
- Living environments involves self reflections
- Who are you assimilating to be?
- Where we choose to live is often based on an unconscious decision
- Realization that we are truly divided amongst ourselves
- Diversity isn’t as dominant as we originally thought
- Everyone can view both sides of the political spectrum
- You inevitably choose to be biased towards a side that benefits you
- Emotional connection matters
- Both your environment and economic setting are crucial as to how you spread your empathy
- Lack of educational diversity
- Comfortable being isolated and retreating to those who “look like you”