RAQUI WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THE ZIMMERMAN CASE! - Ok I got a lot of messages from people asking me (I guess because I haven't said anything) what I think. I decided to make a blog post out of it.
WHERE DID YOU GET THIS! She asked loudly lashing out at me with an accusatory tone. I was scared, she sounded like she was ready to blame me for something, I wanted to cry, “You dropped it”. I whispered, handing it to her. She snatched the wallet, wiped it off (as if I dirtied it) , put it in her bag and walked away.
My maternal grandmother is a very fair skinned Puerto Rican woman. She could have passed for white (if her only language wasn't Spanish) from the pictures I have seen of her in her youth. She had a thing for skin tone lighter is better darker is not as good. I knew this because she never had anything positive to say when me and my mother would go and get tanned in the summer at the beach. She wasnt a very nice person in general to my mother very abusive in fact so I didn't like her and never have even in my baby years. To dark, to dark, is all I remember (from there conversation in Spanish) me and mother used to love to soak up the sun rays, I still do. We would get so dark people would think we went on vacation or they didn't even recognize us. Most were amazed by how dark we became with out burning. I began to hate my grandmother when I was married, my husband was a very sweet caring dark skinned Jamaican man (RIP). My husband was also very helpful and we all lived in the same big apartment building my mother on the 3rd floor, grandmother on the 4th and me and my husband on the 6th. My husband would often see my grandmother in the building, and one time he helped her with some bags. My grandmother had a home health aid (home attendant) during that time in her older years. I found out that my grandmother had told her home attendant "Meda, eso el mono de Raqui" translation means "Look that is Raqui's Monkey". The rage I felt was intense, I can say I hate my grandmother. What is so sad is that this wasn't the only time my husband has been called a monkey or a gorilla and yes I have been compared to an orangutan by the public. That is what we were called when we were together, A very tall couple both of us 6'4, big fat people who were brown and black.
JUST A FEW
I remember my mom telling me at times how to act and react, how to stay quiet and how to behave here in America. Speaking good english was important, standing down was important. I remember my mother telling me once that her darker skin was devalued by our culture and she is not as dark as me, (we are considered indian skinned) and we have people who are as dark as a beautiful nights sky in Puerto Rican culture. This is the same for many Hispanic Cultures. The mixture of Original Natives, Invading Spaniard/European's and traded African Slaves have made us a diverse people who are plagued with skin tone issues that are just as harsh as those in the African American community. Only recently is Afro-Hispanic becoming a celebration for those of darker skin tone.
Those Hispanics who are away from there islands here in America, divide up even more so than we would on our island. We all know we are Hispanic/Latino of our culture, but those who pass for white will move into the white world, because of all the benefits, and yes some of them think they are better than the rest of us (my own maternal grandmother included). Those who are dark dont have a choice, and move into the black world and try to deal. Those like me and my mother somewhere in-between live in limbo we just are, and depending on our skin tone we just fit in where we get in. This does not save us from being brown in this country, but we are accused by white hispanics for trying to be black, then accused by blacks Hispanics that we want to be white. That is with in our own culture and immediate family, then we have to deal with the thoughts every other race in America thinks of us. Many of us just stay quite about it and many times we stay quite in every aspect of life, that usually makes people think we are lacking intelligence. I dont think my parents even realize to protect me they instilled slave survivor mentality and this is something that is not done anymore.
What is worse, those children who are considered mixed (which really in the brown and black communities doesn't exist we all are a big mix already) are pressured at times to pick a side. Well... lets be real the side is picked for you depending on what you look like, and sometimes who your with. More white features, you pass, and might even be titled with exotic, because you pass enough to look white, but you got a little something to ya. More black/brown features… well you know.