(READ UNTIL THE END! This whole situation has finally come to an end. Thank you, Subject A, for apologizing. I forgive you and totally understand that we are not perfect human beings. Again, thanks so much.)
I threw myself on the sofa last night and whipped out my phone. I sent out some Snaps and then checked out my Instagram. Nothing seemed to be out of normal. There were some selfies and loads of ads, but then I encountered a particular post that blew my mind. I honestly wasn’t expecting something of this nature from this person. I was even more shocked to see the amount of people that gave her a positive response!
Unfortunately, I can not share the Instagram post with you because it is not mine to share, but I can tell you about it. First, I will give you some background info on the situation.
This person, who we will nickname “Subject A”, was given a last minute project for their AP World History class. I do not know what the requirements or purpose of their project were so I will not comment on the project itself. The point is that Subject A’s team went to a Mexican Store called Tienda y Carnicería Mi Pueblo. Then they took a picture of one of Subject A’s friend in front of the store. The picture itself was cool. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a picture. The thing that really shook me was the caption they labeled it with:
“Putting ourselves in dangerous situations for the sake of our ap world project!!!!”
This itself was horrifying to me but then Subject A decided to share it on Instagram and added “más leña al fuego.”
Subject A said, “i forgot i had almost the entire cherokee mexican population on sc & i put this (the picture) on my story…….how to piss of mexicans 101”
Subject A has given the fear/misunderstanding of the Hispanic (not only Mexican) community the ability to grow. The word’s this person used, “putting ourselves in dangerous situations…”, make it seem like that by simply being at the Mexican store they are in danger. Let me tell you something… THERE’S DANGER EVERYWHERE! You could be hurt in a Korean store, in a Brazilian store, or even at Wal-Mart. Some people say that Subject A meant that the store itself was a dangerous place because it’s not taken care of well. I’m not sure if that is the case, but that is not what it came across as. To me, it felt as if Subject A was saying that Mexicans (but meaning all Hispanics) are criminals and that they were in danger simply by being near them. Mexicans are NOT criminals. There are criminals in our world that happen to be Mexican just as there are criminals can be White or Black. There are criminals from all types of skin color, but we must remember that we can’t label someone a criminal because of his or her skin color.
Our whole school knows about it now and I have not gone to one class where the picture is not brought up. I have even heard really bad comments. I’ve heard things such as “They’re so dumb. Screw them. I’ll fight them.” or “Stupid Mexicans.” or even things about “deporting them.”
Here are some of the responses she got:
“F*ck them I wouldn’t go there easy not because I’m scared but because it’s gross as f*ck with cockroaches runnin’’ around and everything there is greasy, [your] putting yourself in danger just by being near that food and if any of y’all ‘hispanics’ wanna go argue go f*ck ya self.”
“Another reason I hate Canton. Hispanics that are arguing with her about this are dumb. It’s nasty there like bugs everywhere like all of it looks hella run down, and even you know it so stfu and take a joke damn”
“HAHA this is so great”
“This made me laugh”
Subject A sometimes responded to her followers. Subject A said in one response, “& they told me I was being racist but like if they ever went in that store they would be scared too”
Reading some of these comments made me really sick. Some of them were from people that I thought didn’t have this way of thinking. I was really disappointed. But not all of them were negative. There were some that made my day a bit better.
I had a small conversation with someone and this person said that people shouldn’t take the picture serious and that it’s only a joke. I told this person that just because something is a joke does not mean it’s OK to say or do. Then I provided that person with a link that describes 10 Seemingly Innocent Pranks That Ended In Tragedy. I do believe that there is a slight problem with xenophobia here in the U.S. If we don’t do anything about it, then we will not make succeed in making this a truly free world.
Others say that this wouldn’t have happened if the store was owned by a white man and had signs with English as opposed to Spanish. I agree with these people because IT’S ALMOST NOT POSSIBLE for us to encounter a situation like that one! According to The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 61% of the U.S. population is white. This means that no one would make such a ruckus about this because there is a white majority in the U.S. It is because only 18% of the U.S. population is Hispanic that this has become such a controversy. You can learn more about racial distribution in the United States by clicking here.
BUT GET THIS…!
I do not comprehend what Subject A meant by what was shared, but we have got to understand that you must be very careful with your words. You may mean something, but what comes out of your mouth may be completely different. I am aware that everyone is entitled to share your their opinions, but that does NOT mean you are entitled to degrade someone or a group of people.
I repeat, I do NOT know what Subject A meant to say. This person may have meant something totally different, but the reality is that Subject A’s message came across as something completely different.
Subject A has apologized! We ALL make mistakes and we all learn from them. I honestly DO accept this apology and acknowledge that I am not perfect either. Please forgive Subject A if you know that person. Learn to forgive and to become better than the person you were yesterday.
I do know that some people have messaged/contacted Subject A saying really bad things. I’ve even heard that this person has been threatened. I firmly believe that these types of messages are absolutely wrong. No one should receive messages like these. Even if they have said wrong things. Do NOT go around calling Subject A names or giving that person threats. That is very wrong.
I do NOT believe that threatening to “jump someone” or to “fight someone” is the right way to solve this issue.
I am proudly Mexican-American and I am extremely thankful that I have been able to grow in both of them. Although, it is times like these when I realize that I have the best and worst of both worlds. I truly hate seeing both of my worlds colliding in this way.
Please let me know what you think about this topic. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks so much!