two disclaimers. i disabled comments intentionally. and i have my own soap box on diversity. i know i am white. i didn't choose to be white. my friends that were born ethnically different didn't choose their ethnicity in utero. please don't tell me i don't understand diversity and oppression, because I am white. three of my best friends in high school were asian, puerto rican, and african american. but that's not how i see them. they are my friends. anatomically similar human beings with feelings. i get that history has treated people differently based on race, but to me you are a person that deserves respect just as much as the next person. i am not going to treat you extra special if your ethnicity is different than mine but i won't treat you any less special either. you are a child of God with a uniqueness that is all your own. and you were created to be you.
on the bus on the way to school on thursday i had a young business man start speaking to me in english. but he quickly asked me if i lived in the "ghetto" like Compton or Harlem. And I said, "No, but I have been through there once or twice." He responded "You don't live there because you aren't black and aren't a gang member".... "Um.. no. Not all people that live in those places are African American or gang members." He then proceeded to ask me what kind of music I listen to, and questioned if I smoked "weed". "No, I've never smoked pot". "Really?! Don't all American college students smoke weed." "No, I know some that do, and many that have tried it. but i don't smoke weed." He informed me his idea of America came from the music he listened to. During this conversation, I was caught between wanting to laugh and wanting to cry. I was so deeply saddened that his idea of America was about "homies" "the ghetto" and "weed". Yes, that is certainly a part of America, but America is more than what stereotypes his 'rap' songs make it out to be, at least i think so. i am so sad that the stereotypes i have grown up around are like a terrible epidemic infection, not only tainting our images of one another as Americans, but how we see each other globally.
honestly, i really don't notice ethnicity when i encounter people. i mean, i can identify ethnicity, but i think there is a beauty of growing up in a country (and going to school in LA) where there is ethnic diversity is very different than a place like china. i get that per capita the US is predominately caucasian, but there is a lot more in the mix compared to somewhere like china. this is a high density country. and most people here are chinese. they look different, but ethnicity is a whole other ball game.
people STARE at me here. they mumble "meiguo" (American) to everyone around them when we walk by. they trip trying to walk and watch us. they come up to us just to say "hello" and then run away. jordan and i even had someone follow us today. it doesn't really bother me. in fact, i find it semi- humorous and strange that they think i am so 'interesting'. i'm just an average girl in American standards. rarely do i get a second look at home. in the last two weeks jordan and i have become some type of celebrities here. literally, no one has taken pictures of us up until the last 2 weeks. i see other americans, and lesly and richie are american, and they don't take their pictures. but for some reason we have been deemed "beautiful twin princesses" by several people we have encountered. as of late people have whipped out (not discretely) their phones and cameras and take pictures of us. or they are bold enough to ask to take a picture with us. here a few separate occurrences.
|i regularly crack up that they want MY picture. really i am not that special.|
|this was unreal, like seriously at least 7 cameras.|
i'm thinking about how to handle this in light of Christ. i have a few ideas of my own, but i'm still praying and processing. e-mail if you'd like to help me understand how Jesus would respond.