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					Elvis A Navarro

BLS 245

September 23, 2008

                          My Personal experiences with Racism

        Racism has always been a big topic in society, even during Jesus Christ time. I

believe racism comes from independent thinking and views and how this view from

family, friends and society forms us each day. Racism has to do a lot with social status,

money, power, looks, sex and much more. Coming from a third world country I can

really see the major differences of racism how they vary by culture and education. My

experience in the United States as a young boy has formed my racism definition and view

of society in general. One of the biggest influences in my life is my father name Evaristo

Navarro in terms of racism, he came from an era where marrying a darker skin person

was not aloud, not discussed nor appreciated.

        I came to the United States of America January 1996. I realized that life was

much quicker than in my country the Dominican Republic. There were all sorts of people

with different cultural backgrounds. When I started to explore other cities and states I

realized that racism was much more apparent then it was in the city of New York, and in

my heritage culture the Dominican Republic. As a little kid I began to see how different

this country was to the Dominican Republic racially and economically. I was amazed at

the different cultures and backgrounds people came from. In the Dominican Republic

there were people of all colors but people didn’t talk about racial issues. Light colored

people in the Dominican Republic would talk bad about a person who was darker than

them. When I was a teenager my mother Maria use to tell me and my little brother Eddie
that we were suppose to marry blonde girls with blue eyes just for the plain reason that

she wanted us to have cute kids with light skin color, this I found very disturbing. Maria

as well wanted us to come out with blonde hair and blue eyes. I laughed and told her

how such a thing can be possible when my father was of black complexion and had

brown eyes. I told her where in the world could she think that such a thing could happen

and it just shocked me that my own mother would think in such a way.

        I do not blame her for being so ignorant but the centuries of racism have

remained in Dominican Republic and mostly the United states. Another shocking thing

to me was that my father considered the lighter skin girls more fair to marry and to have

kids with than any other type of girl. I am just glad that I studied Dominican culture and

learned that the Dominican Republic is 90 percent mulatto which means a mixture of

Spanish and Black. Even though there is such ignorance in the Dominican Republic

when I came to this country I saw a bigger worse perspective of racism that it was even

more shocking and disturbing to me. As I grew up in the rough streets of the Bronx I

realized how every body of different culture fought one against the other. I saw how

gangs of different ethnic groups formed and fought with a hate that one can only imagine.

       I experienced how Dominicans fought against African Americans and Puerto

Ricans. How African Americans hated white people with a passion and would often rob

and beat them up. I saw how white kids would run trying to get away from the incredible

beat downs they would receive from Puerto Ricans and African Americans. When I was

12 years old I played baseball in little league on Washington heights uptown Manhattan.

I had this Cuban friend who was light skin he looked like he was a Spaniard and he also

played baseball with us and I remember how gangs of Dominicans would come and
harass him and try to rob him I was embarrassed because I was Dominican too and my

own people were doing this.

               While attending high school I saw how a white teacher would cross the

street to the other side walk when he saw a group of African American kids walking by.

Before I went into the United States Marine Corp. I was hanging with some of the other

recruits. One recruit of Italian-Irish descent carried a hunter’s knife because the Puerto

Ricans would always try to mess with him. The guy uncle was a war veteran and he was

constantly harassed by the young Puerto Rican kids in the neighborhood until they saw he

was crazy and did not care if he had to take one of them out. I had another Italian-Irish

friend and he told me in his block they would try to mess with him and some people

would call him racial slurs while growing up in the Fordham section of the Bronx and he

had to earn his respect. I worked as a paper boy and every time I was distributing paper

there would be some Black folks and some young guys and the young guys would look at

me and say look at that f…. white boy. I felt insulted because I am not white and I felt

sorry for those kids because that was really ignorant of them to just talk about someone

they do not even know, don’t know my background nor culture.

       I thought New York City was bad when it came to racism until I moved to

Cleveland Ohio. One day I was walking to my job in down town Cleveland when 5 hill

billies across the street were kicking garbage cans and when they saw me they were like

hey look at that spic and I just stare right at them waiting because I thought they were

going to head my way but I thank god that they kept going another way. Another time I

was walking on the Eastside of Cleveland and two kids saw me and they were pointing at

me saying hey look that’s a spic. I looked at them and I was shocked how can 2 little
kids the ages of about 11 and 12 talk with such racist remarks. I was just shocked at how

even little kids were so ignorant out there. Another time my ex girl friends niece was

married to an African American guy and he was telling his kids and my girlfriends kids

that they should speak English only not Spanish and I and my girl friend and some of the

people there felt insulted because to speak Spanish is a big part of Dominican culture.

        One day I was working at my job as a security guard for a prestigious catholic

school in Cleveland. There was this guy who was a hillbilly from west Virginia and he

would always come to me talking about those N’s get on my nerves I don’t like them. He

would speak with such hatred and animosity and I would tell him look they are my

friends and I don’t appreciate how you talk about them. Also there was another guy who

was white that worked at the school and we were talking one time and I told him Chinese

food was my favorite food. The guy went crazy he began to say how you can like those

gooks cooking, those chinks I hate them. I was astonished at how this guy’s incredible

ignorance and I told him they built the American railroads and are a great culture and

their cooking is great and he was still disgusted and kept saying racial slurs. His boss

who was a good friend of mine told him if he did not shut up he was going to get him

fired and since that day he stopped talking those racial slurs about Chinese people.

        Like in New York City the Puerto Ricans in Cleveland would fight with the

Dominicans and blacks all the time. One time I was standing in a line in the super market

and this incredibly racist Puerto Rican lady was like those Dominican monkeys who do

they think they are and that just boiled my blood I wanted to turn around and insult her.

Another time I was working in downtown Cleveland in the residence inn hotel and my

supervisor was this ex marine guy who was like 60 years old. He and his Irish partner
hated African American people he would always say them N’s they keep messing with

me I am going to bring my gun and kill them all. I could not believe what my ears heard

I was just in disbelief how can people be so ignorant I thought to myself. Another time

we were going to move to another house and the next day when my girl friend’s brother

went to check the house they burned the kitchen and left a note saying we don’t want no

spics or N’s in this neighborhood we were shocked.      I have never in my life seen so

much racism than what I saw in Cleveland Ohio. Now I understand why Steve Harvey

said he had such a rough time in that city. I would have to say from my experience that

Cleveland Ohio is or is one of the most racist places in the United States.

               I lived with my cousin in Illinois who lives an hour and a half away from

Chicago. While I was living there my cousin took me to Chicago to show me around.

My cousin took me to a place name Cicero in Chicago where he had a friend. I looked

around and I saw these Mexicans American dudes with their head shaven and one of

them stopped and stayed staring at me and I stared at him back I felt a little

uncomfortable then he left. Later on that day after we came out of church these Puerto

Rican kids told us that I was lucky that if I would have had my cap a certain way I would

have been shot. When we went to the kid’s house with his family this African American

man told us his car had a bullet hole in the trunk cause gang members thought his was in

a gang because of the vehicles color. Another time my cousin had ordered Direct TV and

some white hillbilly individuals have gone to set up the dish. The individuals gave me

and my cousin weird stairs and specially my cousin because he was darker and later on

that night they broke a window in his trailer and smashed his dish. I couldn’t believe it

but just like in Cleveland the racism was obvious. My cousin had married an Irish girl
and when they broke up she was like my kid is not going to speak Spanish that made my

cousin very angry. My cousin had married a Panamanian lady before he married the Irish

lady. She left my cousin and married a Black guy and my cousin respected her decision.

My cousin had 2 daughters with her and the guy started messing with my cousin saying

racial slurs and punching my cousin in the face and in front of him saying that those were

not his daughters. I was insulted when I saw that how some one can be so ignorant and

say that he is the father of 2 girls that do not belong to him and then to disrespect my

cousin with his racial slurs. I was glad that I was there cause when the guy saw me he

stopped messing with my cousin.

               There was this other time where I was living with my brother in Baltimore

Maryland. My brother is a cop in the Baltimore police department and he took me on a

ride along. He was working at some gay club and I went along with him. While I was

standing across the street this black gay guy came along he was like you a cute spic. I

just laughed I felt disgusted I crossed the street and went where my brother was at and the

gay guy kept looking at me the entire night I was very uncomfortable because of the

racial slur and because he kept looking at me I was about to get physical with the guy it

was annoying I almost hit him. Also my brother told me that him and his friends were

given a hard time by the white police officers of higher ranks and he cried sometimes

because he couldn’t take the pressure and the racism and his wife would calm him down

and tell him its ok. I felt bad for my little brother that he had to go through such racism

from people that were abusing their power and who were messing with some one that

was totally innocent and did not deserve to get treated in such a way.
               First my parent’s ignorance astonished me with their way of thinking such

as my mom wanting to have blonde hair blue eyed kids and my father’s saying that you

should get with lighter tone girls. Then I am shocked at the racism I experienced in

Cleveland Ohio where I was called a spic, where people were called honkeys, spic,

niggers, I was just in disbelief at how every body was so ignorant and racist. I believe

no other city can top the racism that is seen in Cleveland Ohio. While in Chicago I saw

the same cycle as in Cleveland but in a different tone with the Mexican Americans and

their gang ways. Finally I was in Baltimore Maryland and I saw how my brother had to

face racism every day in the Baltimore Police department. Therefore this goes to show

that racism is every where and that people need to be educated on that racism is wrong

and that in order to be better human beings they need to realize that what they are doing

is wrong. People need to take the time and learn from other peoples’ cultures and learn to

get along with them and appreciate that the world has such beautiful different cultures for

all to learn and appreciate.

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