In passing

The one where I think and ramble about skin color & privilege & a tear between two homes that see me through different eyes. Being whiter-than in Mexico and being able to pass as white (or Canadian, at least) in Montreal, attempting to speak about race eloquently while trying not to take up too much space while checking my privilege while taking note of the ways in which said privilege applies & doesn’t when far from the birth-home. Balancing others’ attempt to decide how I should identify / act, while realising I have no idea how I identify either. The rambling continues:

I am white… enough that
my family believes, and reminds me
that I DESERVE a white man
by my side.

I am white… enough that
I am perfectly bilingual
And you don’t wonder how come
Or, who paid for it?

I’m white… enough for bro’s to say
“Babe, you look French, Italian, Greek
But NOT AT ALL MEXICAN.” (wink)
Like it’s a goddamn compliment.

I’m also latina enough to surprise you
with my incredibly charming movie quotes
How could you know Hollywood has sparkly combat boots
That colonized my childhood?

I am white enough, but brown enough
that no one ever asks
about the gross inequality
that raised me.

I am white… enough that
when I’m at Halloween parties
sometimes maybe no one puts
a fucking sombrero on my head

I am white… enough, but latina enough that
I have a last name to dump,
and the European one to keep,
for job interviews..

I am white… enough that
my skin tells an awful story
of my people being systematically,
unforgivably screwed over.

I am white… enough that
I can let people forget
I am an Other,
If– no, WHEN — it’s necessary.

I am white… enough,
but latina enough
That I can camouflage
but I still need to.

I am white… enough that
You feel a bit too comfortable
your white ally card sitting in your pocket
when you make “ironic” “post-racial” jokes

I am white… enough that
I’m not always fetishized
That my sex can sometimes, maybe be
Something other than “exotic”.

I am white… enough
to be pretty fucking privileged
but my blood is dark enough,
that sometimes I don’t see it.

I am white… enough to be asked
to speak about racial inequalities
and be heard. But also to know
That I know nothing. Not really.

I am white… enough that
I never had to think about it
Until I was no longer
The whitest.

I am whiter than-
but darker than-, as well
I learned early on to know
my worth in relative terms.

I am white enough but latina enough
That I’m not immigrant enough, not assimilated enough
Not privileged enough, not oppressed enough
Not light-skinned enough, not dark-skinned enough.
Not white enough, not latina enough

To speak in good enough words
To be visible in clear enough colors,
To exist in a way that makes sense.

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