Dear white people,
Your Friendly Neighborhood Chicana is back! I've only written two other articles, but I'm sure you must be tired of me, right? That's OK! I completely understand. Like I said last time, it can be draining to be forced to understand a perspective you've never considered. But nevertheless, I persist!
Why, you ask? Well, because change — even good change — is uncomfortable.
Trust me, I'm not sitting in my room happily writing these articles. I'm tired. Just like you, I want this to be over. I've gone to protests, written articles, signed petitions, and it all seems like not enough and too much at the same time. I get why people choose to stay silent in these matters.
But silence won't make it go away.
All silence does is make the problem drag on even longer. Isn't that so frustrating? It feels like no matter what you do, nothing changes. It's exhausting, and right now, it's not even me who I'm fighting for. I guess that's why so many people only support movements to a point, or they choose to remain silent: Why suffer for an injustice that doesn't even affect you?
Well, of course, the obvious answer is that it's an injustice that affects someone. If you're a BIPOC, racism and prejudice are injustices that have personally affected you at some point. That's why I talk so much about this, I write these articles that some might feel like I'm shoving down their throats.
However, I fully recognize my privilege in being a light-skinned Latina whose life has never been physically threatened here. And still, I know what it feels like to be made to feel like you don't truly belong. And, lovely white people, let me tell you: it sucks. I am so, so jealous of all of you who have never been asked, "What are you" or "Where are you really from?"
Because it's doesn't hurt to be insulted like that. No, it's worse; it's this hot, burning sense of shame. No one seems to be satisfied with the correct answers. While no one has ever told me to my face, "go back to where you came from," I can see it in their eyes sometimes. And that's worse: knowing what someone thinks of you and they don't even have the courage to say it to your face. Because you can't do anything about it when they're silent. If you do, you seem like the crazy one, the wrong one.
I get that we're all tired.
We want life to go back to normal.
But for that to happen, we can't stay silent.
So, everyone who has remained silent, I urge you to speak up. Say something. Do something. You are silent because you are comfortable with your existence and the way things are for you. And that's OK. Again, no one blames you for your whiteness. No one is threatening your white skin, your white existence. We blame your silence. Because it is in the silence that injustice thrives.
Do good and be good, mis amigos,
Anna La Chicana