Transferring journal entries shouldn’t be this difficult… But it is. I feel like my writing gets lost, feels different when written in green ink in my journal than seen etched into the computer screen. Trying, but it’s hard…
I’m genius. These things just comes to me. hahahaha
- Boy, lemme be the Gregoria de Jesus to your Andres Bonifacio
- Girl, put down that picket sign and lemme, Gabriela Silang my way into your PUSO
- Girl, I will write you letters, dedicate entire books to your name - You will be the Josephine to my Jose Rizal
- Jose Rizal wrote Noli Me Tangere, touch me not. BUT BOY I WANT YOU TO TOUCH ME NOW.
- Girl you need a crown, because you reign SUPREMO
- KKK, normally it stands for Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galang, Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan, but to me those words mean Kagaga at Kalilito and Kagandahan mo!!!!
- You make me wanna flight, you make my heart Sora, like Tandang Sora!!
…more to come.
To my future daughter
I will name you Luntian
My mother’s favorite color is green
That will be your name
Because I want you to remember
That you are my daughter
You are a daughter of the Earth
I will bear you from the ground
You will let out your first cry
Into the dirt of which you were conceived
Because although your name means green
You will always remember
That you are brown and beautiful
I will make sure of that
You will be the light of my life
You will be the reminder that
Land is Life
I hear your name when the wind rustles leaves
I feel you when my feet meet with the wet grass
I see you in everything
Because you are everything
Your nickname will be LuLu
I will bear you a sister to play with
Her name will be Dilaw
My favorite color is yellow
Her nickname will be DiDi
Take care of your sister
You will be bonded forever
Because the sun melts into the earth
And the earth melts into the sun
You and your sister will color the world
Bring the world to their knees
With your bright, shining faces
With your squinty-eyes smiles
You and your sister will bear my last name
Because you were written in the stars
Because you are my little stars
You and your sister
Will shimmer, dazzle, splendor
Bring light into this world
You bear the name of the world
But you do not have to take on the world
Your small shoulders could only carry so much
So I will carry that load for you
Hold your small brown hands in mine
My flower, my star, my world
This is my song.
This song played the night my aunt passed away.
This song played as I stared up at the sky
Searching for her stars
It replays in my head every time I am in the water
It reminds me of one of the most amazing experiences in my life
It explains me.
We all know it. We’ve all been on it. I go on it to waste time, laugh, relate to the funny gifs and memes as they seem to seamlessly explain my life at Stanford. I don’t mind the posts about sororities, dorms, and ridiculous professors, but poking fun at an entire community is where I draw the line.
While perusing stanfordguyproblems.tumblr.com I came across this: http://stanfordguyproblems.tumblr.com/post/53470070418/when-my-friend-moved-to-east-palo-alto. Now to the normal untrained Stanford student eye, this might elicit a slight chuckle, a little grin… But to my first generation, low-income, need-based-scholarship, brown eyes, this made me angry. In my channeled anger, I decided to post this as my status and on the Stanford Class of 2015 facebook page.
“I was going through and laughing at everything on this tumblr until I got to this… http://stanfordguyproblems.tumblr.com/post/53470070418/when-my-friend-moved-to-east-palo-alto
This disgusts me. People can’t go beyond sensationalized news stories, rumors, and stereotypes. People at Stanford need pop their bubble and actually spend some time in EPA and realize how beautiful the city is, how amazing the people are, and how much all they believed was so wrong. This aint the 90s anymore. Get it right.
On my personal status with people that I was friends with, I got a few likes here and there. But on the Stanford facebook page, to my surprise someone responded. In their own words: “Umm sorry to burst your bubble but these tumblrs don’t actually mean anything…”
I disagree. Of course, when I first saw this I was raging. I called my friend, gmail-chatted another friend, and even took a screenshot of the post and posted it on a different page (I of course later took the post down… but hey, in the heat of the moment). I was angry. I was furious. But then I realized I needed to calm down and not be a stereotypical angry minority blaming the “system.” But I do blame the system. I blame a system where students like me have to work ten times harder, fight against so many more obstacles to just to get to Stanford, let alone stay afloat. Some may say that I was overreacting, but frankly, I have a right to.
Because tumblrs do matter. Because social media does matter. With a tumblr that has thousands of followers, these gifs and memes are not just for fun. They project and reinforce stereotypes for all the world to see. The author may be joking, but at the same time, satire stems from truth.
Last winter quarter, I took a service learning class called Urban Studies 166: East Palo Alto: Reading Urban Change. Within the first few weeks the class changed my life. Through the course we engaged with the local youth in East Palo Alto. We learned the city’s rich history - the historical, social and economical context of which the city was built and how it changed throughout the years. Community members and leaders came into our classroom every week to talk about the place they grew up. The place their parents fought to have their own kindergarten to college school system for and by the black community. The place their ancestors planted gardens that reached passed google headquarters. The place they first realized the magical taste of a single strawberry. As a class we visited local community gardens, met with Collective Roots, and had jam sessions with the Music Murals and Art Project. As we biked across the wide cracked streets and into the dirt roads, I fell in love with East Palo Alto. Its people, its street corners, they felt like home.
Growing up in Southeast San Diego, the community at East Palo Alto reminded me of my own. San Diego in the 1990s was not the safest. I remember my parents avoiding the local park by my house because of the gang activity. I remember shootings and gang violence at the high school down the street. I remember not being allowed to play outside because my parents were scared I would get hurt. By the time I was ready for middle school, my parents crossed they’re fingers as I entered a lottery to go to a progressive charter school. To their glee I got in. And from then on, I spent 5 hours a week for seven years driving there and back to a school that was “better” than the one down the street. After those seven years, I forgot what it was like to walk around my own neighborhood. I forgot who lived down the street by me. Most of my life was spent in the carpool lane as I read about Malcolm X, Charles Darwin, and finished my chemistry homework on the 94 east freeway. So when I came back home for the holidays… I realized and finally saw how much my community had changed. Through a series of city efforts and community action, the parks in San Diego were renovated. Schools were cleaned up, gang violence was down, and a new supermarket opened up near my house.
I was appalled at myself as I realized that in the midst of extracurriculars, SAT prep classes, honors subjects, etc. I forgot the about the neighborhood that bore me.
So yes, this post made me angry. It makes me angry because I’m tired of the sensationalized hysteria about neighborhoods like mine. I want to apologize personally to my 12-year old self. I want to tell her that I’m sorry we weren’t involved more in clubs and organizations in our community. I want to tell her not to be hurt by the fact that our classmates’ parents didn’t allow them to work on projects at our house because their families believed we lived in the “ghetto.” I want to tell her it gets better. You will go to Stanford – a place where tolerance and intellectual engagement are at the forefront. A place where students are more aware, exposed to the world’s problems and will spend their college careers and the rest of their lives to solve them. But at the same time, I need to remind myself that not everyone knows. Not everyone can even begin to understand what it is like to grow up in a predominantly minority and immigrant neighborhood.
So yes. It all matters. It matters to me and the thousands of students at Stanford who come from parallel cities like East Palo Alto. I don’t mean to preach, I don’t mean to be an angry brown wymyn, but I do mean to state my opinion. I do mean to have the right to show my side of a story. We are so privileged to go to a place like Stanford that sometimes we forget the community right outside our door. East Palo Alto is more than just a place to tutor kids, get community service hours, and put something on your already full resume. It is a place full of beauty, passion, and light. It reminds me of home. So next time you or your friend make a crack about EPA and its’ “dangers”… stop, process what you’re gonna say before you say it, and take the short bike ride over the bridge past university avenue to a world you never exposed yourself to before.
Now, excuse me while I unfollow some people on tumblr.
Wrote this because I was feeling angry and very brown. And I saw her the other day and shes just so basic. You all know the type.
To the white girl in my intro to ethnic studies class who say’s she Bosnian, not white.
Shut. The. Fuck. Up.
Just because you’re grandma is from Bosnia
That doesn’t give you permission to call yourself “ethnic”
Just because you’re in Roots and Shoots
Wear American Apparell
Spent summers helping kids in Africa
Wear save the children rubber bracelets
Sport a hemp backpack made in Mexico
Sewn by small brown hands in sweat shops
Doesn’t make you like me
Stop comparing yourself to me
Stop saying that your family “struggled”
I’m sorry for the genocide in Bosnia in the early 80s
But, bitch… you weren’t there
So just Stop
I cannot handle your whiney thinly disguised valley girl accent any longer
You’re from Santa Barbara
And just because you go tanning at the beach
That doesn’t make you brown
Bitch You White
Stop raising your hand after every single question the teachers ask
Because even he’s annoyed
His dreadlocks stand up every time you open your lolipoplipglosslips
Because you think you’re so cool for using lollipop lip gloss because its vintage
Because you think you’re so cool for wearing clothes made in America
Because you think you’re so cool with your middrift bellybutton showing ass
Because you think you’re so cool for having a Chinese tattoo that says “peace”
Bitch that doesn’t say peace.
You’re stupid for getting a Chinese tattoo by the boardwalk after drinking at the beach all day
Because you think you’re so cool for “volunteering” your time at boys and girls clubs
Because you think you’re so cool because you’re saving the world, one brown baby at a time
Shut. The. Fuck. Up. And Sit your poser ass back down
You can’t compare 10 years of Civil War in Bosnia to hundreds of years of imperialism
You can’t compare hearing your grandma’s stories about burning houses
When people have been burning, raping, killing, abusing my people for centuries on end
Bitch you were born in Santa Barbara, went to one of those “progressive high schools” and so now you think you’re the shit because you know about the world??
Bitch you motherfucking bitch ass white bitch
Stop thinking you need to save my people
It’s your ass that needs saving after I pop a cap in it
So stop thinking you’re help us/me
If anything you’re in the way
SO MOVE BITCH
GET OUT THE WAY
GET OUT THE WAY
This is our struggle not yours
This is our fight not yours
This is our land not yours
This is our history not yours
This SHIT IS OURS
Stop calling yourself “Dre” because it’s short for Andrea
Stop getting angry over injustices against minorities because you my bitch ass white girl… are NOT ONE
You white. And yes you may be a woman and there are some glass ceilings
But you don’t know what its like
You will never understand what its like
So stop pretending you do
Because the next time I hear you say
“I’m not white. I’m Bosnian.”
I WILL PUNCH YOUR BOOB
Also…. You’re not fooling anyone with you tissue-stuffed “C-cup bra.” Bitch you a 32 B AT BEST.
Give me something I can feel. Give me water I can feel on my toes. Grass underneath my feet. Sun kissing my face.
meditating in cathedrals of our own.
One of the best things I’ve read in a while. It resounds with me completely.
I have been happily making my way through MFK Fisher’s tome The Art of Eating and came across a small and delightful essay in Serve It Forth called “The Pale Yellow Glove”, which are anecdotal musings about memories ensconced with food. In it, she mentions that people are often loth to divulge…