I’m not from the country ‘White’.

Matthew Palavido
Beaumont, CA

My family’s background is Polish and Swedish and the town I grew up in in New Jersey was predominantly “white”. Like a lot of Americans, I grew up rather sheltered and culturally insensitive/ignorant. While on a camping trip with my family and friends from my wife’s side of the family, we recounted the story of one of the first time’s that my wife and I met. Rather than asking her what her family heritage was, I asked her if she was Puerto Rican. My wife immediately corrected me and explained that her family is from Mexico. While sharing this story with family members and friends while camping, someone in the group commented that “White people group always try to lump Latinos into the same group, they don’t understand that we come from different countries and have different heritages that we are proud of.” I was at first offended and said “Tell me where the country of ‘White’ is.” It was at that moment we all realized we are more alike than different, and our cultural biases were similar, just viewed through a different lens. We ended up having a great group discussion about all of our individual backgrounds and what our different families experiences were emigrating from their respective countries.


Tweets by Michele Norris