November 11, 2009 at 2:06 pm Leave a comment

unwittingly continue a pattern

I was raised by two liberal, progressive historians, one of whom was heavily involved in the Civil Rights movement and when I was a child, took me to volunteer at a migrant worker aid organization. When I was in college I met a friend who was raised in a small farming community that had many migrant workers and their families. She frequently referred to her former boyfriends as “cholos” in a very non-malicious and naive way. I remember at first being surprised, but then, because I knew she didn’t understand the full scope and implication of the word, I became desensitized. A few years later, while drunk at a bar in San Francisco, I referred to a group of people as “cholos,” where upon one of the people I was with called me out for using a racist term. I was shocked and horrified, but it made me realize just how easy it was to continue a pattern of discrimination unwittingly and ignorantly.


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