So at my job we had an older couple come in and as they were leaving I heard them discussing the problems with current insurance companies. A lot of them don’t want to cover houses over 25 years old because of risk and all this crap and the woman was talking about how next to her mother’s house, her neighbor didn’t take care of their home or lawn and they are afraid that will be seen as too much of a risk. She continues her story and finished by saying “Yea, there’s that house and then… there are all these Mexicans moving into the neighborhood.”
There are two problems I have with this statement, the first being that any brown-skinned person who speaks Spanish is always assumed to be Mexican. People, there are at least 19 countries with Hispanic people and 1 commonwealth (Puerto Rico) and those people can be brown-skinned who speak Spanish. I realize that, especially in the U.S., people assume that if you’re Hispanic you’re Mexican especially because of the immigration debate, but let me tell you it’s not only Mexicans but any southern Hispanic country and some European coming here to better their lives for the most part, but that is another blog entirely.
The second problem is that people assume that if you are in a minority neighborhood (in Chicago that’s typically is Black or Hispanic) that it is a bad, dangerous place where you shouldn’t be. Honestly that frustrates me so much that skin color can define how safe you feel in a neighborhood. If one of these people walked into a low-income white neighborhood, they wouldn’t like it but I don’t think I’d hear the same comments.
Most of the comments about neighborhoods I hear come from those who are from the generation before my parents, so my grandparents generation. If you really think about it, the growth in Chicago neighborhoods took place during that time, when workers were needed during WWII when Hispanics immigrated or emigrated here. There were no laws against discrimination so the majority white population discriminated against minorities and created dangerous situations. That’s not the only reason but it does play a massive role.
It frustrates me beyond belief. I don’t go into neighborhoods and see a large group of a specific race and think to myself that it’s dangerous. I think it’s dangerous when I have reason to belief it’s dangerous. White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Purple, Spotted or otherwise, that doesn’t make me judge someone and it sickens me to hear people say, well Mexicans are moving in or Blacks are moving in or something stupid like that. Grow up.
I know that it sucks to have pinned with specific stereotypes. I am part Puerto Rican, only 25% so I look white and I’ve had Hispanics make negative comments because I don’t speak fluently and I don’t look Hispanic.
One time I remember I was in Denny’s with my friend and an older white man just started talking to us and telling us all of these negative stories about immigrants from various countries. So of course I found some way to bring in that I was part Rican and my family lived there and he had the never to suggest that I shouldn’t go down there because I don’t KNOW my family implying that they relate to a story he had been telling us about drug dealers. Not only that he said if I did go down that would be good so I could bring my American idea ideas down to all the Fascist people down there. I was floored that someone was telling me this. My favorite comment is when people ask if Puerto Ricans are here legally. They gained citizenship in 1917 so we can’t be in the U.S. illegally.
I never want to judge someone by their skin color or where they came from. I will never look at someone and think negatively until I meet them and find out if they are bad people and I will NEVER go into a neighborhood and judge it by the people who live there. Everyone is beautiful and no matter what color or mix a community is, if they are full of love and don’t have money or if they life in billion dollar houses, love is love and people are all the same, no matter what color their skin is or eyes are or anything like that. Hate and fear only breed more hate and fear so we need to stop this infection and replace it. Let’s all just be color blind, really color blind and if someone show you love, show them love back no matter what.