Thursday, September 23, 2010

missionaries among themselves

Odilia Rivera Santos

I am in a remote outpost in a sort of siberia that became unfamiliar as years went by and I vagabonded my way away from here. I am a missionary among my own people, but the only brainwashing is in regard to self-love - slowly making my way through the thicket of horrid lies they've been fed about themselves and their circumstances so they can see worth not lack and potential instead of misery; they see a foreignness in me because i appear to be satisfied and not scrambling, not because we look like strangers.
as i rode the train, idea after idea came to me - please don't view me as a conduit. Ideas flow because I spend time thinking and because every experience has relevance. I am focused even when I appear to be adrift.
When people make stupid remarks about Black people because they don't know I am black, I correct not their words but the fact that they uttered them.
You are allowed to think these things but they are hurtful when unleashed and I suspect that held in, they would damage a soul just for thinking them.
People are sometimes careless with words, creating piles of litter in a mind already nearly full.
When people express surprise that I am Puerto Rican because they say I appear too intelligent, I tell them how glad I am to have received a solid liberal arts education, which prevents me from saying such incredibly ignorant things about any ethnic group.
We grow and change and encompass many things in our lives and that is exciting to me.
I know certain ethnic groups see in themselves leadership and the right to possess all that they want; in my own racial/ethnic self, I see greatness and power, which came to me in life and in dreams.

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