Sunday, September 9, 2012

Labels

In the chaos
We seek neatness and order
We create borders and categories
Everything has a place or a label
So we are able to be organized
Not realizing those who are victimized
By being itemized into the big picture.
If a pen made it into a box of pencils,
It wouldn't be the end of the world,
But what if it were a girl?
Does she lose her identity 
Because society can't see her as an individual?
Where dual roles hardly exist
And people can't resist
The urge to criticize, idolize, and disguise all the wrong things
Brown skin is Mexican
Almond eyes are Chinese
Unable to seize control over perception of people's misconceptions.
"So it's a tiny mistake," they say.
A mistake that erases the traces of what makes people who they are.
Leaving scars on the souls unseen.
Sometimes the way people think becomes the reality
Instead of bitter
Let's go for better
Educate
Create the dialogue
Get out of the fog
The world is more complex than you think.


Hey Everyone,

       The poem above was inspired by a conversation posed in one of the auxiliar facebook groups I'm a part of., in where some people thought it was okay to use as "just a descriptor" the word chino for Asian. It bugged me, and therefore I went to work to express it with pen and paper (and now laptop and internet).
      I'll be the first to say that I am not perfect. I don't always say the right thing. I laugh at times at things other people may not find funny, but I guess it's not being perfect which makes us human. I also categorize things because it makes it easier to talk about, but just because a poodle is a dog, doesn't make all dogs poodles. 
        I've dealt with this many times with so many people assuming that if you speak Spanish you must be Mexican. I've gotten all sorts of responses like: "Ugh, it's all the same," "Isn't El Salvador, like in Mexico?" "Well I'm usually right, when I call someone Mexican." or even worse yet with an attitude "Do you speak English?"
   The problem with labeling people as certain (and sometimes exclusively) things, then we lose the various dimensions that make up our world, and de-value aspects of people.

Tell me what you think. Let the discussion begin!

~@CathyArely



2 comments:

  1. I think as far as the Mexican thing- some areas are heavily populated by Mexicans (for instance, the city I used to live in had a large Mexican heritage, probably about 60% of the overall population) so people make assumptions based on statistics. But to get an attitude or ignore the facts when corrected about a specific individual is just ignorant.

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  2. Thank you for being my numero 200 <3

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