Living in Puerto Rico, I have had great epiphanies about prejudism. I have never seen any purpose for or experienced prejudice before we came here. As a white woman, shy of going into the "wrong neighborhoods" I can usually expect to be welcome most anywhere, except maybe a "Gentlemans Club(where the only women should be waitstaff)". I have never understood why Black people who have experienced pejudice from White people hated the whole culture so much and developed something I consider a loathsome, hateful attitude, that tends toward self perpetuation. The prejudice that a lot of us feel is often minor slights that, if were only occasional could be overlooked, but it is a regular occurrence. The things that are noticed the most are what fouls the refs call in team sports, and if peoples ID's are checked or not. As I said, it is little slights. For example, my sister spent some time in the DC area. She would frequently go horseback riding with some of her co-workers, a few of which were black. When they went to the stable and picked out the horses, the saddles on the black girls horses, were loose. But, if they called ahead all of the saddles were properly adjusted. This was experienced on multiple occasions. Still, something that if experience rarely could be an oversight, but regularly is more than a coincidence. With the experience of the attitude, you really begin to feel and believe that it is US VS THEM!!! It takes a great deal of self control to not portray that attitude in your actions. Being the outsider you must always watch your wording for fear of being labeled prejudice yourself. After a while you learn to expect this behavior, and that has been a terrible price to my emotional well being. Once you expect the behavior, you want to withdrawl from the undesired attitudes. At this point it is difficult at best not to portray the attitudes that you have been victim to...
and the cycle begins again.
As much as I, and many others from the Continental 48 feel this constant pressure every day, we also have to remind ourselves that there are many natives that envy us for not having been here forever, and having an out in a few years. There are many who are welcoming of us and believe that we can help create change for the better.
I would challenge anyone who has experienced prejudice to rise above it, to the best of their ability and count their blessings each and every day. This does not mean to ignore it, not at all. If you are able to make a change, do so! You have a voice, USE IT! But, do not let the devil get you down, fight the system and prove that you are better than that. Do not perpetuate the cycle.
I am sorry if some feel this post is preachy. It comes from my heart. I am saddened to have the experience to need to write this post. I hate the loss of innocence that was paid for it, for me and all who have lost it.
People do not think...
A person does:)