La Guera Analysis

1393 Words6 Pages
Three months ago, when I first identified myself as a critical thinker, it was one of the first times I have consciously considered my privileges and oppressions as they pertained to my identity as an able bodied, straight, middle class, light skinned, cisgendered, Mexican American woman. I briefly mentioned that although I am often mistaken as all white, I am actually also Mexican, and it was not until college that I became more interested to learn about this disclosed side of my family and their culture. My dad was also my mom’s step¬¬¬brother, and although he passed away over three years ago, his side of the family is still very much connected with my mom’s side because my grandma, and his father, remain married to this day. Because of this,…show more content…
However, the effects of social racism have largely contributed to all the intersecting dynamics in my life. Cherríe Moraga shares a similar conflicting identity crisis, in which she is labeled, “la guera,” meaning light skinned Latina. She discusses in her essay, “La Guera” how her home environment and other social spectrums treated her white, where she gained the idea that “white was right” because it, “attempted to bleach me of what color I did have” (Morago, 2015). She too describes her experiences of passing as it pertained to her race and the privileges it entailed, in which she refers to as being “anglicized.” Today, as a junior at Washington State University in Pullman, my white appearance deems me part of the majority, therefore excluding me from any racist harassment other students have experienced in just this past year alone. I can attribute my enrollment at WSU as benefitting from affirmative action, which deemed me a minority simply after seeing my Spanish name on the application. I have even been awarded certain ethnic scholarships, simply because I marked a box, along with the assumptions my last name conveyed, proving just how much and how loud words or names can tell without actually saying a word. Passing allows me to conveniently…show more content…
This seven letter name secures my oppressed fate within the legal system, the university setting, and the job market. Because there is an attempt to quantify and biologically define race, this precedes the oppressive and injustice factors I may face by systematic racism. I have often been turned down for jobs despite my qualifications, most likely due to the negative connotations attached to the Spanish name given to me. Hypothetical and symbolic titles are inaccurately assumed to predict one’s capability and worth. This is especially true with the negative implications attached to the brown community, such as laziness, untrustworthiness, ignorance, and lack of education. Minorities often become self-oppressive when those who work, live, fight, and die among the white have yet to gain “equality, economic security, or freedom.” Andree Canaan, author of the essay “Browness,” writes “brown is not The Oppressor but the victim. But part of our victimization is self-oppression.” However, it is nearly impossible to cease this alliance since white man’s power is inevitable as they control they entire system, along with its vital resources needed to survive (Canaan, 2015). Also similar to my identity crisis but a disadvantage for Moraga, is her inability to portray her queerness through appearance, much like the resistance those of color to physically hide or
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