Tell me, I am curious

Standard

I have encountered people who as soon as I say I am Dominican American, put me in a category.

I’ve been told before, “I heard you Dominican women are crazy.” The man proceeded to say, “I went on a date with one before and she was crazy. She smelled of weed.” He continued on about how at the end he had to block her number.”

I told him. Every race, gender, and group have, “crazy” individuals.

I’ve been told before, “I would’ve never thought you were Dominican. You are so quiet and well mannered.”

I thought to myself, “Does this person think we are all savages who haven’t acquired the ability to be sophisticated. My cousin is a lawyer. Has her own business and graduated from college on the island. She can school anyone on literature, the law and anything else.”

She is well mannered. She is Dominican and she is not “crazy.” That is the case for many of my cousins.

This word “crazy” gets tossed around more than a piece of clothing in a dryer.

I’ve been told. “You don’t act like you were raised in Brooklyn.”

So let me get this straight, what is a woman from Brooklyn supposed to act like?

I’ve heard that teachers from my past had so little faith in their minority students that they made remarks such as,

“All they are good for is having babies young and going to community college.”

Let me educate some people right now.

See, us minorities aren’t just good for having babies young and going to community college.

1) Isn’t teen pregnancy in every country, every race? Haven’t you heard of any successful teen parents? You probably did. Oh, and who are we to judge someone else’s life choices.

2) Community college is still college. In my opinion, a community college is a smart option for students who don’t want to take out loans or simply can’t afford these brand name colleges.

3) Why bother even becoming a teacher if you are going to have so little faith in your students. Why be a bigot and put down the youth of this country.

My reason to write this is not to rant. But instead to say something very simple. It should be obvious but in society, the most obvious is the most ignored.

As my mother would say, “Mi gente, don’t categorize people.”

It just shocks me that the world functions in a way in which stereotypes become a legit form of categorizing people’s looks, personality, and morals.

No soul is alike. No heart beats the same. No eye color is exactly the same. No smile is the same. No one’s personality is exactly the same.

The beauty of being a human being is having something unique. No one is better than anyone. How can that be when one person can be great at math while the other is great at being an artist.

Intelligence cannot be measured because while one is intelligent in school, the other can be street smart.

While one aces tests, the other creates beautiful music.

Tell me, how can you categorize human beings?

How can you categorize people using stereotypes?

Tell me.

I am curious.