A Little Anecdote from a Brown Mexican

A Little Anecdote from a Brown Mexican

This is a story about the one time I was told I have the perfect skin color for a Mexican.
50
views

When I was younger, my dad told me about a dream he had. His uncle, who had recently passed away, talked to him in a dream and said something like “Amaris has the most perfect skin color for a Mexican”. As a young child, of course it was a great compliment to me as any compliment was nice. However, now that I’m older, I realize how terrible the compliment was.

In this first place, we should note that my skin color is pretty tan and brown. Telling me I have the perfect skintone for a Mexican is kind of like saying that all other Mexicans should aspire to have a skin color similar to mine. It’s like saying a darker skin color is ugly, while a light skin color is not Mexican enough, which is what typically is said. The problem is that there is no just one Mexican color. When you say that brown is the Mexican color, you’re essentially rejecting any other Mexican with a skin tone that’s not brown. It creates a dilemma with self-identity.

I know that brown is typically used as symbol for Mexican proudness, such saying “brown power”, and I obviously have no problem whatsoever with having pride in oneself culture. The problem is that it may sometimes make other Mexicans who aren’t brown outcasted or irrelevant. For example, we often forget about Afro-Latinx, and then this is a huge problem when it comes to anti-blackness in Latinx communities. Similarly, “La Raza” is a term that was also used as an anti-black strategy, as well to reject indigenous people. There is also definitely white privilege even in the Latinx community. One instance is Eurocentric beauty standards, with the praise of small noses, light colored eyes, straight hair, light skin. You can see lighter-toned models, but you rarely see indigenous models in any Latinx magazines.

You, of course, do not have to agree with me. It’s just an idea I have going on inside of my head. Personally, I do in fact love my skin color. It reminds me that I am in fact Mexican, and I am very proud of it. However, I didn’t always think like this. I used to hate being Mexican for some weird and odd reason. I used to hate being brown. People would often tell me that I have a sort of accent when I speak, and I hated it. And now, I could never think of feeling like that ever again. I come from a beautiful culture, and I would ever deny it from now on. I’m glad I have had the opportunity to learn more about my heritage because it represents who I am.

If there’s anything that you could have learned from this article, even us in the Mexican community have a lot of problems to address. Anti-blackness is one of them. We also have machismo, classism, anti-LGBTQ+. We have a lot of problems, but I believe that we can also fix them. Because “we're MexiCANS, not MexiCAN'TS”. One point for you if you know where that’s from.

Cover Image Credit: Amaris Duran

Popular Right Now

​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
1485562
views

Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Donald Trump's Ilhan Omar Tweet Fuels Islamophobia In America

His tweet only encourages Islamophobia and potential violence against Muslims in the United States.

23
views

Rep. Ilhan Omar is a name that has sparked much controversy since her election to the House of Representatives in 2018. Omar was first widely praised for being the first Somali-American to serve in Congress as well as one of two Muslim women elected to Congress. She later faced backlash over her views on Israel and has been accused of being anti-Semitic. Most recently, Omar has faced controversy over her speech at a CAIR event, during which she stated that "some people did something" regarding the events of 9/11. Donald Trump responded to this statement on Twitter, posting a video repeating Omar's words over footage from 9/11.

Taking a look at the replies to this tweet is enough to understand just how Trump's response influences his supporters as well as others who may see the video. His tweet has inspired a storm of very blatant Islamophobia: among these replies are images of Ilhan Omar over a background of photos from 9/11, tweets associating Omar with ISIS, and condemnations of the Quran and Islam as a whole, using either out-of-context quotes or simply false information to support these claims. Whether or not you support Ilhan Omar, it is not difficult to see how harmful Trump's tweet can be to the Muslim community.

His tweet only encourages Islamophobia and potential violence against Muslims in the United States.

The statement taken from Omar's speech is also only a minute portion of the entire speech, which is available on YouTube. Omar's speech focused on the association of all Muslims with terrorism - the response to Trump's tweet, in effect, only proves her point. Her statement that "some people did something" was taken extremely out of context.

Omar's intent was to highlight how 9/11, in particular, created a very hostile environment for all Muslims in the United States.

Her point was that all Muslim Americans faced consequences for the actions of a few, only due to the fact that the perpetrators of 9/11 claimed to share the same religion. Personally, I understand some of the outrage at her statement about 9/11, but I do not feel that Omar intended to diminish the events of 9/11. I understand her statement as diminishing the perpetrators' roles in the Muslim community, emphasizing that they are only a small fraction of the group and do not represent all Muslims.

Regardless of your feelings towards Omar's statement, it is clear that her quote was still taken out of context, and that the wave of Islamophobia directed towards her and all Muslim Americans is unwarranted. She has not, in any way, supported the actions of terrorists, nor has she tried to justify any of their actions. In fact, she even says later in the same speech that Muslims should speak out against members of their own community, stating, "... as Muslims, we are called on to stand up for justice and to speak the truth, even if it is against ourselves, our parents, and our close relatives."

Ilhan Omar is not a terrorist, and she does not deserve to be likened to one.

Donald Trump's tweet was both distasteful and irresponsible on his part. He took one line out of an entire 20-minute speech and used it to condemn Ilhan Omar, and, in effect, attack the Muslim community as a whole. Whether he intended to do so or not does not matter. What matters is that his portrayal of Omar's words will have an effect on people's views of not only Omar, but all Muslims in America. He is instigating Islamophobia and possible violence against Muslim Americans, and in the role of President, he has the platform to have a widespread impact on the environment that Muslim Americans must live in.

Related Content

Facebook Comments