No Part Of Me Is White

“I need for people to stop making that assumption of me.”

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Transcript for No Part Of Me Is White

No part of me is white. I am half Puerto Rican, half Mexican. Um, my dad is the full Puerto Rican, my mother is the full Mexican. Um, my dad and his family grew up in Gary, Indiana. Um, half of his older siblings, well his older siblings were born in Puerto Rico. Um, his younger siblings, including him were born in America. So he is a citizen.

My mother, on the other hand, uh, did not come to this…well, she did. She was born in this country, in San Francisco. My grandmother was born in Mexico, my uncle was born in Mexico, my mother was born in San Francisco, so she was a citizen, technically, but she did not have the papers. My mom was taken back to Mexico when she was a very young age. Um, I’m not sure when. Um, because my mother doesn’t remember. But like most of her toddler years were spent in Mexico. So my mom actually came over illegally to this country. She was smuggled in as a two-year-old, um, and it wasn’t like she had to like, fit in the car in any compartment anywhere. She actually…my grandmother hired this family, this young couple to pose as her parents with these illegal papers to get her across the border.

I identify more with my Mexican descent. But a lot of people see me and treat me as white because I “speak white” and I “act white.” Like I don’t say, “What’s up, ‘ese.” Like I don’t do that. And when people first learn that I’m not white whatsoever, they don’t believe me. Um, they’re like, “There’s, there’s no way. There’s…you look too white for this. You look…you speak too white, you know, you act so white.”

I had a freshman roommate. She made a lot of racist comments and or jokes, um, that were very typical of Mexican stuff. When she met my family for the first time, physically, she saw all–my family’s not very big. Um, my intermediate family, you know is just my dad, my mom, my grandmother, my brother, my sister, and me. That’s six people. Um, and in my head, you know, I think that’s, that’s not big. That’s pretty average, you know. She met them for the first time and they all came in into the–our tiny little freshman dorm, and uh…when I went out with my family, uh, she then made the joke to our two friends, you know, “Wow, a lot of people crossed the border.”

And I was okay with it at the time. I didn’t say anything, cause I’ve gotten those jokes a lot all throughout my life. I kind of like put it at the back of my head. It’s not very much important to me, um, but I didn’t, I didn’t really feel very comfortable with that.

It’s not that people are constantly making Mexican jokes. I need people to ask me questions. And that’s what I get from my very close friends. But as regarding how I’m treated here, as white instead of Mexican… it takes for people to recognize that I am a Mexican-Puerto Rican. That I’m no way white. And that Mexican-Puerto Rican people, especially Mexican people, and Puerto Rican people, black people, and Asian people, and any other race… Saudi Arabian people… they can speak just like you. And they can speak it very well. It’s not speaking white. It’s not acting white. No race is acting this way or that way. And I need for people to stop making that assumption of me.