Oh, I thought you were white

Alison Montes,
Dallas, TX

Puerto Ricans are multiracial. We are mixed with Spanish, African, and Indigenous races so we are more than likely able to pass as any of those races easily; which is what happens to me. I am mistaken as a Caucasian every time and it is not until they notice I am bilingual, or I say I am Hispanic that my white-passing “disappears”. I remember one time at work, I was helping a customer, but the manager had to get involved so as I was waiting for them to finish talking, I started helping another customer that needed me to translate. While I was translating, the woman I was previously helping came back to finish what we had started but when she saw that I was talking in Spanish, she furiously slammed her products on the counter and asked me why I was talking in Spanish as if what I was doing was wrong. I am sure that just like me, other Hispanics have been victims of discrimination more than once but staying quiet is never the answer. Out of all the injustices in the world, it is shameful that discrimination is still occurring on a daily basis, but it is up to us to end it. This is why it is very important to speak on what you believe in and educate the less fortunate who still treat minority unequally because they do not know any better.


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