Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Side notes (light and dark)

Light-- in a few weeks my phone number will be changing. i will send it out via text message or if you need my number email. i check my email several times a day.

Dark--sometimes when I am reviewing files or studying genocide I think, what was I doing on that day. sometimes i can remember. my days are never as bad as the days i read about for other people.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Race Post #2...Race v. Ethnicity

Apologies to those who actually thought I would post every other day. I decided to let the other post sit for a while to see what comments I received.

In New York, and most places in the Northeast I am Puerto Rican. It gets left at that. Once I had to explain to the attorney I worked for that Puerto Rican is not a race it is an ethnicity. We had a client and, for purposes of his case, I needed to know if he identified as a black Puerto Rican. He didn't, we moved on. Then the question becomes, what do I identify as.

Simple. I don't. Or maybe I do. It's not simple. In my head, and it seems only in my head I have no race. I am a wonderful mixture of (in alphabetical order)--Irish, Portuguese, Spanish, Taino, Yoruba and I am pretty sure that my grandmother's family were Sephardic Jews who converted (my grandmother looked very very Jewish). That being said, I enjoy African dance, Spanish food, Celtic music and I practice a syncretic religion. In New York, I never felt black or white but now I live in Florida

AND NOW my race seems to get pondered by everyone. It's not enough to be Puerto Rican, I have to decide in I am black or white. Interesting, my first taste of this was when I visited Tennessee and my college boyfriend's mother informed me that she didn't like when I referred to myself as "a woman of color". So, confession one, I do not think I am white. I am definitely of color. For those of you who don't know me I have a cafe con leche complexion with more cafe than leche. I THOUGHT anyone with eyes could see that.

However, I have had not one but two separate bosses tell me that they thought I was white. My thought, is that I don't understand why they even gave thought to it. And the reason I found out that they thought I was white was because I had a conversation with both of them, separately, about how some people don't think I am black enough to be with John.

Which brings me to the other end of the spectrum. Confession two, I don't consider myself black either. However, I have been told countless times that I am black now since I married a black man (let's just ignore the fact that John is black and Asian and that the black part is a bit muddled as well). And I find the level of comfort people (young black people in particular) have with informing me that I am now black strange. Like the "make you black" fairy came in the middle of the night and I was too dumb to see it. If I have suddently become blacker someone should tell the older black women in Tallahassee who give me nasty looks to stop because "I'm black now".

Truth- I'm not black and I'm not white and that is how it is. I don't get treated like a white woman. Klansman still hate me. And a good chunk of black people hate me.

Aye bobo, I know who I am. I love who I am but Dear Lord people should stop putting so much thought into "what I am".

If God blesses John and I with kids peoples heads could damn near explode trying to figure out what they are.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Race post 1

I've decide to make the race post a series and even though I am busy this week hopefully I'll post every other day till I get it out. Today's post is the Native post (and maybe these will be posted out of order).

My mother's family is mostly Taino, a good chunk Yoruba, a good chunk Portuguese (not Spanish as people assume), a bit Spanish and a tiny bit Irish. When my uncle died a year ago I inherited the responsibility of honoring my family's ancestors. As for as I know it stems from the Taino/Yoruba belief structure. So fairly often, I light candles, burn incense, give gifts and rum to an image of a Native.

Now I know this image is not completely accurate depiction of how the Natives in my tribe looked but it is a symbol. And while I hate the idea of a generic Native culture (much like I hate when people talk about Africa as if it was one country), it is the symbol I have inherited and the duty is mine to follow.

The Indian ring I have not taken off my finger since September 2000 (when my grandmother died) is also a symbol of my ancestors. It symbolizes my guardian spirit and I try to treat it with respect and I tend to freak out when people I am not related to touch it. Part of the reason I know John is my soul mate is that it never wigged me out when he touched it.

So where am I going with this?

I do not understand why non-Native people, and by this I mean people who don't have a drop of Native blood not even the 1/32 every person tries to claim, decorate their houses with statues of Natives or Native imagery.

Really I mean--you don't see it in any other culture. You don't walk into a Korean man's home and find statues of Irishmen and you don't walk into a Jewish woman's home and finding statues/ depictions of black people everywhere. So why do people drip their houses in native paraphernalia? It irks me.

And don't ask me about the Seminole thing cause I'm all over the place on it and the whole darn thing just makes me glad I am not a Seminole.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Little Things

Sometimes when I am running late in the morning John makes my peanut butter and jelly sandwich (I eat them for lunch about 3x per week). Then when lunch time comes the sandwich always taste better than if I had made it, 20x better. And, that makes me happy.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Things that have been occurring to me....

Race is a concept so elastic that it is stupid (more on this later).

You CAN pick your family, you just can't pick your relatives.

My bar needs to be stocked...today...maybe this afternoon even

Sewing may be harder to learn that I think it will be, but the designing has been fun

I am scared I am going to fail my driving test because I am not good at driving backwards and in Florida a good chunk of the test is backwards.

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Friday, September 01, 2006


If you went to my photographer's blog yesterday, go again, you have to scroll down but she added more photos.

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