Yeah… so there’s a lot going on in the world right now. The first thing that really impacted me was obviously COVID. Not in a powerful way, mind you, I was lucky. Never caught it just had to work from home, which means that my personal space became a workspace. Bleh…
So of course, after I’m done working, all I want to do is walk away from my desk and go do something else. Luckily, the FF7 Remake kept me distracted for a while, and then YouTube videos… then a BUNCH of anime and Netflix shows… to the point where I’ve grown bored of almost all of them. I even finally gave Money Heist a shot. Great show, by the way.
A lot of the anime I watched I created Draft articles for, too, so I’ll be writing those reviews sooner or later.
Also! Did you know that there’s a whole slew of full Family Guy episodes on YouTube? I almost feel bad for Seth MacFarlane… but home boy’s probably got enough money.
Anyway, eventually I finally decided to check Facebook, and stumbled upon a video that I just assumed was old. I even remember thinking, “How in the world is this country still functioning when shit like this is happening?”
You can imagine sigh of relief I breathed when I realized the video wasn’t old and began seeing the protest posts. Isn’t that sad, though? This country has gotten to the point where I actually breathed a sigh of relief when I see that something has inspired the masses to riot.
Shit’s fucked, huh?
As a light-skinned Latino immigrant, I’ve had a very sporadic relationship, understanding, and upbringing with race and skin color. Growing up, skin color wasn’t a social division, it was just a skin difference. Some people were black, and some people were white. That didn’t mean anyone behave a particular way because of it. People who lived in the city and liked expensive watches lived in the city and bought expensive watches. People who lived on the beaches and didn’t really care about hair products were people who lived on the beaches and had dreadlocks as a result. Yet, the people in the city could be white, tan, brown, or darker. The people on the beach were the same.
Obviously, that meant that when I came to America and noticed that the culture here seemed to associate dreadlocks with drugs, crime, and black people, I was quite confused.
Honestly, to this day, my initial gut reaction to dreadlocks is that they’re dirty. It was the American culture that made me add on the negative things to that association alongside a skin color.
And no, I won’t say that it’s the “American Media” because it isn’t. It’s the very culture of America that made a young immigrant have his first racist thought. Not my parents. Not my neighbors. Not my friends. It was the culture that I had become a part of.
Since then, it’s just been getting more and more confusing. Then I learn about the N-word and all of its variations, which throws me for a loop, because now suddenly I feel like it’s wrong for me to just say the Spanish word for black.
Then you learn about slavery! And sure, Latino nations don’t have the prettiest histories, but this was the first country I was learning about, and this is what happened? I remember staring at all the American kids thinking, “The fuck were y’all thinking?” Like it was their fault.
At first, I think, “Well, glad that shit’s over, then…” and then I realize it’s not over. Everyone keeps saying it’s over and acting like it’s over, but I’m a Latino immigrant; we’re great liars. Americans suck at lying because they’re too busy lying to themselves. Believe me, America… the immigrants know. Slavery isn’t over.
Imagine being the third wheel out with a couple where one partner used to abuse the other, but they went to three sessions of counseling before it got too expensive, so now there’s no violence between them but you can clearly see that they haven’t figured shit out.
That’s what it was like growing up as an immigrant in America.
And no, I’m not trying to make light of either situation. It’s almost exactly that uncomfortable. None of it involved you, but you know it’s very serious and it doesn’t really feel like there’s anything you can do to help.
So I go hang out with the other immigrants. Then I learn about concentration camps, Vietnam, Ellis Island, Native Americans, the list goes on. Then I look at my own nation of origin and I learn about what the Spaniards did there.
Shit’s fucked, huh?
Anyway, I wish I could go back to just assuming dreadlocks meant someone didn’t like using shampoo. That seems a lot more innocent than what America made me see in dreadlocks.
So how do we get there as a nation? Honestly, I can’t imagine. As a programmer, I actually pride myself in being able to solve logic puzzles, but this one’s pretty intricate. When a client gives me a program this fucked up, my recommendation is usually to trash it and start fresh. Occasionally, though, that’s not possible in the corporate world.
So America has to decide on a development strategy. Do we trash this entire project and start new? Do we keep making small adjustments and fixes while we R&D a better solution? Do we follow in the footsteps of Blockbuster and go down with the ship?
Maybe it’s a combination of things. Maybe we should just let the current system continue while we go off and set ourselves up for what’s inevitably coming.
Also, I got a Nesur kitchen towel.