All posts by Vincent Pineda

Black is…bad?

White is right

A conversation that my group and I stumbled upon and spent time to discuss. We included our cultures experiences of whitening cream and how being lighter skinned is desired across all spectrum of ethnicity. In my own experience, I know for a fact that lighter-skinned filipinos are known as Mestizos (mixed with any other heritage, in most cases Spanish) which are seen as the more "attractive" and desired skin tones. It is so important to the point where people using whitening creams, bleaching their skin, and taking in supplements all in order to whiten their skin.

But how did this universal belief that white is beautiful begin? With a belief like that, minorities are already internalizing that they are placed on a lower level. But a question that we asked ourselves was when does this conditioned belief begin? Does it start when we go to school? Is it something that is learned in history books? I came across a study done on YouTube including a White doll and a Black doll and I think it answered the question to a certain extent, that this starts much earlier than we expected.

I don't expect you to watch the entire thing (I didn't finish it myself) but I thought it was definitely an intriguing thing to watch. This class taught me that there is much more than learning, that there is such a thing called "un-learning" and it is just as important as its counterpart.

Blog #5

I've been slacking a little this week on my assignment (midterm week) but i've realized that I find myself a little lost while researching my topic.

I'm part of the Politics of Language group and my plan is to create a compilation of short videos. Included in these videos will be people reading poems by authors who often cover topics of race and language. The difficulty came when I realized that most poems I am finding don't cover language at all and for the most part are about identity (and I know there is a separate group for that already). I just want to avoid delving into a topic that is separate from my own so I don't end up losing my way. I hope that when I dive further into my research it is easier to find poets that can help with my topic.

P.S.

If anyone knows of any specific poems or even poets that may be able to help me, feel free to send a link through twitter! Much appreciated

Blog #4 "No, where are you really from?"

Long ago I saw an image with a quote circulating around social media:, tumblr, facebook, instagram, twitter, the works. And it was an image of Morgan Freeman during an interview and he was asked the question:

"How do we stop race?"

Morgan Freeman replied with:

"You stop talking about it" 

With the provided context I would have to disagree with Mr. Freeman, but after further research I understand what he meant. The quote was cut off by the people who created the image, "You stop talking about it" in the interview video was actually followed by, "I'm going to stop calling you a white man, and i'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man". This important part of the quote was left out of all the aforementioned pictures and I think that people took the wrong message that he was trying to convey. 

Silencing talks about racism will not make it disappear and I think that people honestly think it will. We need to be confrontational with the facts, almost aggressive in the way we make progress.  Everywhere you look racism is apparent, but people are too sensitive to talk about it?  How can we be afraid of something that is always in front of our faces, maybe they appear in forms of blatant bigotry or sometimes in nonchalant microaggressions but it must be confronted regardless of what shape or form it comes in. 

Our class learns about these problems and after reading classmates blogs I see that we are all spreading our knowledge to people we know, we are also utilizing the use of the internet and spreading it to people we don't even know. The first step is awareness and that is the hardest step to make and it is our job as being in this class to educate others on something we are too afraid to realize, racism is real and it is dangerous.

Attached is the full text of Morgan Freeman's quote:

Here is also a link that I shared on twitter. My friend was part of a project on microaggressions a few years back: http://9gag.com/gag/a3YZ6r5

Are you Chinese or Japanese?…Are those my only options? Blog #2

I unconsciously already wrote around the lines of my desired topic for my final project in my Blog #1. Although it was all over the place I think there are several topics I can take from it: 
  1. Stereotypes --experiences encountered
  2. The loss of culture when growing up in an environment that is unfamiliar to your own 
  3. My own personal experience of being stripped of my pride 
  4. "Privileged minorities"
To come up with an actual project I would like to dive into a place I consider myself to be both comfortable and uncomfortable with--poetry. I write when I am passionate about something and I often find myself leaving Dr. Z's classes inspired. Although its difficult to completely use sources and academic articles throughout a task like this I believe it can be done with justice through the experiences I've gone through. 

Apologies for the brief post, will be e-mailing Dr. Z for some clarification on some things! Stay tuned

P.S this was an encounter I had when I was younger

[Kid]: Hey you with the slanty eyes, are you Chinese or Japanese
[Me]: Depends, are those my only options?

Then they came for me— Blog #1

I've struggled for what seems like a lifetime on deciding on how to identify myself and how society set forth a certain criteria for me to fit. But thinking back on it, I can remember my first encounters with race and the problems carried by it like it was yesterday...

  • Speaking Tagalog in my Kindergarten class got me sent to the Principals office along with a phone call to my parents (took away my native tongue) 
  • Being raised in a predominantly Spanish and black neighborhood I got teased for being Asian. So I put my best efforts into pretending I was Peruvian and denied every part of my heritage until high school. (stripped me of my pride)
  • In High School I had trouble making friends anywhere outside of the classroom, I assume my classmates believed in stereotypes since everyone wanted to sit next to me in math classes (Unlucky for them it was my worst subject). And when driver's ed came around my sophomore year, the jokes were endless (apparently Asians have bad driving skills embedded in their genes). (lasting encounters where people have made assumptions of me because of my race) 
But coming to college has not fixed these problems, only helped me realize that they existed. And in any case, awareness is the first step (i'm still trying to figure out the next couple of steps). I've majored in sociology in hopes to understand not only society and those around me but also to gain deeper enlightenment on myself. But I've fallen into what I like to call a "suicidal-major" because all of my family friends (who are Filipino) consider me to be a failure. In my culture, nursing or engineering is the way to be successful, stray from that and you will be looked down on. Luckily enough I have two parents who understand the hardships of being a minority and have backed me up in taking part in this seemingly forever endeavor to figure out who I am.

Secondly,

I find myself in the middle of a world where all people see is black or white and I not completely fitting in anywhere so I sit myself in the grey section. For example, I asked my friends (Filipino-Americans) if they wanted to go protesting with me in NYC over the recent death of Eric Garner. Their responses were not only indifferent but even slightly depressing. They said, "what does that have to do with us", I was so shocked that I wasn't sure how to respond. But then I tried to think about it from their POV, they aren't sociology majors, this isn't what they are debating in classrooms or critically analyzing for homework.
Personally, I think Asian-Americans are minorities held in high regard and even given "privilege" to some extent. We are given higher status in the world of "minorities" and I have several experiences that agree with me. I guess I bring this up because my culture is lost in a "race-mess" that I want to help clear up and bring a better understanding to people. I am vice-president of the Filipino Club on campus (F.U.N.K) and I hope to learn and set straight these problems so I can pass my knowledge onto my members.
I completely understand, race may have a large role in cases like this but so does your political standing. To clarify, my problem comes with the status that Asian-Americans are placed in. "Model minorities" but still minorities i'm lost in the cross-fire. And although it does not cover the full extent to my reasoning, to answer the aforementioned question of why I wanted to protest is because I stand against any injustice or prejudice that is committed especially involving race.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

- MARTIN NIEMÖLLER