Visit Siouxland Magazine on Historic 4th and share your answers to the following two questions:
· How have you been stereotyped, underestimated, or discriminated against?
· What response do you have to those comments? Or what do you want people to know about you?
Just stop by with your answers in hand, write them on a poster board we will provide, and then let us snap a pic to share with the community. Make your voice heard.
Here is what Ivonet Torres share with us, and the “why” behind it.
“You don’t look or sound Hispanic. You don’t even have an accent.”
These words might sound harmless, but the statement goes into a much deeper question for the person receiving it about their identity as a Hispanic person or how others perceive them. You see, the perceived impact of skin color and being able to speak another language in the lives of U.S. Latinos are broad, from impacting our ability to get ahead in this country, to shaping our daily life experiences, to dealing with discrimination. After hearing that phrase countless times during my teen years, I finally answered out of frustration, “how should a Hispanic person look or sound?”. I felt it was as if they were saying, “because you are not of dark complexion or have an accent, I am now stripping you of your culture and placing you in another nationality or category,” when I was indeed proud of where I came from and my heritage. That comment never sat well with me. As an adult, I’ve learned to be patient if I’m told that. I know there is a wiser way of addressing that question or remark. It is by educating our public that we are not a cookie-cutter nationality (no nationality is). That’s what makes us so diverse and rich in culture. – Ivonet Torres