A personal account of the boundaries found in stereotypes

Location

White Washed

I get jokes and pokes

about my lack of pigment

lack of accent

and I hear the constant chorus singing

"Well you're smart because you're Asian."

"You don't look half Filipino, you're just like one of us"

"You must be a terrible driver"

"You must be adopted or switched at birth."

 

suffocated in a small town

rural ground country sound

in my graduating class

diversity is found

in my half-caste self

and my singular mexican friend

stereotypes shape the syntax

of the young mouths around me

as they convince themselves that we

are truly equal

 

however

my mother's accent is still mocked

her small stature and brown skin

makes her cute to the white world

but to me she is strength unseen

inconceivable unimaginable

a witness of worlds of struggle

raised on a coconut farm

dirt roads leading to the tuberculosis infested slums

children sleeping on the streets

married a man much older

half around the world

sacrificing comfort of home

convenience of family

for children she hadn't had yet

to send her countless nieces and nephews to college

 

Because English is a second language

she has learned to speak in short sentences to avoid grammatical errors

to avoid preconceived notions of unintelligence

made by the whiteman for anyone who cannot create

the Standard American Accent

I order for her at restaurants

25 years in America cannot fix

59 years as a Pinay

yet she endures it with a smile

looks at me and my brother

wouldn't trade it for the world

 

College

my mixed race face is not detected in a sea of

those protesting their civil rights

searching for social justince

we sort people into files

I am filed under "white girl"

my pale skin light eyes indicate

starbucks, instagram, daddy's bank account baby

they look at me and know my entire story

 

your place is the kitchen

be dumb and be ditzy but not

strong cause if you're strong you're a "dyke"

and if you stand up for yourself you're a "bitch"

and if you're comfortble in your sexuality you're a "slut"

and if you're not promiscuous you're a "prude"

I get screamed at by drunken college males across the street

"SHUT UP YOU SLUT! FUCKING BITCH!"

While innocently talking to a friend

little did they know

I'm a virgin

and I was voted "Everybody's Buddy" in high school

instead they are encouraged by claps and hoots

of laughter

show her her place

take her power

 

So I turn on my TV

Cheerleaders date football players and are caddy and bitchy

I was a cheerleader.

and if you like school you're a social outcast who has a questionable friend group

I liked school.

and if you're black you're sassy and witty

My friends are black.

and if you're asian you wear black rimmed glasses and like anime

No I don't.

and if you're gay you like fashion and can only be friends with girls

Not all of them.

Speaking of gay if you like theater you probably are

No you're not.

If you're a girl in sports you probably like other girls

Probably not.

Well, if you're poor you probably do drugs and act out though, right?

I wouldn't say that.

and not one of these people are slightly over weight or sport anything but pancake

flat stomachs

each character mocks themselves and allows for open scrutiny on the things that make them

unique

 

I'd like to see us embrace the diversity

and recognize adveristy

because the American Dream is a fairy tale

upper middle class USA tells their children

to justify the poor people's current state

"They didn't work hard enough."

"They all waste their welfare money."

I'm tired of the labeling

of the filing

of the boxing

and organizing

and grouping

You can't judge a book by it's cover

you can't judge a person by their

longstanding stereotypes and

their culture's famous counterparts

or their ethnicity's crime rates

 

To quote Immortal Technique

We are drowning in the melting pot.

And I would have to agree.

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