- Posted August 17, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Everyday racism: Your stories
The Day Everything Changed
This story is part of CNN iReport’s Everyday Racism project, an effort to shine light on and spark discussion about racism in today’s world. Please note that CNN cannot independently verify the events described in this post.
- Jamescia, CNN iReport producer
By: Fernanda Perez
“Looks aren’t everything.” You always hear people say the same thing over and over again, yet they fall victims of their own hypocrisy. When I was younger I really didn’t see racism, now that I have grown, I can’t seem to get away from it.
I was born and raised in Mexico. I finally moved to the United States in 2003 due to my father’s job.
The difference between me and other Mexicans is that I don’t fall under the “stereotype” at all. That is my one and most powerful advantage, or at least it seems that way in the world we live in today. So I thought.
I have never been a victim of racism, but for my younger sister, it has been a different story. She’s been the victim, strangely not for her looks, but solely of where she’s from.
Many people are blinded by the truth of racism, but I have witnessed it over and over again with my own people, my own family.
One day that I will never forget happened in 2011. My sister was at the public library of our small town, studying for her finals. Suddenly, she over-heard a young African-American male tell his friends, “Mexicans need to go back to where they came from, if one showed up at my door I would blow his head off.”
My sister could not believe her ears. She quickly turned around and told the young man she was Mexican, and to stop making such comments.
After that, nothing could hold him back, “Good! Tell your people to stop hopping the border! Beaners like you are the reason the economy is so terrible, stealing our jobs and money!”
My sister bit her tongue. She was trying hard not to let her tears win. Her stomach tightened and she suddenly became nauseous. “Was the young man right?” she thought, “Are Mexicans as bad as he made them sound?”
Of course not, but my sister was definitely affected by this. She came home crying that day and told me the whole story. Her tears were like bullets down her fair features. To this day I still remember it all. The cruelty. The unfairness.
I have never seen my sister so upset. We weren’t used to this until that horrible day. She felt she was ridiculed in the library; many people witnessed the event, and the worst part is that no one intervened.
I go back to that day often, remembering the anger and sadness in my sister’s hazel eyes. Trying to make sense of it all in my head. Why do people say such hurtful things? Why does it matter where people come from or what they look like?
I really hope that one day we can look past that. That we can look at everyone as the same race: human.