Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm Mexican and I don't have swine flu

The hype has died down over swine flu, Mexico and being brown. But while it was the hot topic, my fellow Mexicanos were subjected to discrimination.

Take for example Vicente Fernandez, one of Mexico's most treasured singers. He couldn't perform at two Latin American countries because he's Mexican and he might have infected the public with the swine flu because you know he has it.

The United States was an inch away from really having a day without a Mexican. I had to hold back sneezes or else I could have been accused of having the swine flu. Boss: please don't fire me! Egypt: don't slaughter me! Asia: don't quarantine me! U.S.: don't look at me like that!

But this isn't the only stereotype we face. I myself was victim of workplace discrimination on Tuesday, May 12 by someone I hardly know.

I was waiting for the bus to get to work and a person of the female gender (whom I had spoken to before) asked me if school was over. I answered, "Yea. But I'm working now." This person said then responded, "You work in the cafeteria?"

"WHAT?!?!?!" I thought. She can't be serious! I smiled and said, "No. I work in the Financial Aid office and in the Journalism department."

She thought about what I said and then responded, "Oh...So you never work in the cafeteria?"

OMG! Does she seriously think that I am too incompetent to work in an office or a department? Does she think that, because I'm brown and Mexican, I can't have a job in a place other than cleaning or food services?

I know we don't live in a Utopia. I know that there will always be ignorant and people who stereotype. I know that I will be discriminated against. I am a young brown person of the female gender. These genes don't give me much advantages I'm but I'm sure I'll survive.

la raza unida jamas sera vencida.