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Alejandro Suarez

Pick a card! Any cardexcept that one!

It has been tough these last couple of days trying to figure out so much about myself in
such a short time. At the end of the second day I said I was feeling guilt. I felt guilty for two
reason. 1. Im part of a minority but I was never victimized for it and 2. I felt guilty for adopting
another culture than my native one.
After both hearing and reading all of the struggles that minorities face I took a look at my
life and realized that I never really had to struggle as much with racial slurs. Why wasnt I ever
called a beaner or wetback or Mexican from someone I didnt know? Why did I have such an
easy time while my fellow latinos had it so much worse? Oh its because my skin is white and
other than that funny sounding name to most I look like any other typical white guy hipster. If I
wanted to be white I could stick to speaking english, talk about american football, and how
foreigners are ruining our country! If I wanted to be latino I just can speak spanish, talk about
soccer, and go over the master plan with my fellow latino to ruin the United States. I have always
felt accepted and I it completely skewed my view on the world because I started to believe the lie
that race didnt play a big role in todays society. Even though I wear glasses I was blind to the
fact that my white skin made it so easy for me.
The second reason I felt guilty was because I chose to adopt white over latino culture
since that is what is widely viewed as normal in this country. It was so much easier to be white
because it didnt raise any eyebrows. The music I listened to, the way I dressed, and the way I

spoke was the same as my white friends. For a while in my adolescence I would refuse to listen
to spanish music because I didnt like it. It wasnt based on the quality of the music, but simply
because it was in spanish. As Tatum put it, I adapted to survive. I feel guilty because I had the
choice to take the easy way out when a lot of people always have it over their head.
I apologize if I have given the idea that I think or at one point thought I was 100% white.
I was never that delusional about myself. I have always been aware that I am and will always be
hispanic. I knew that even though I might look white, when it came down to it Alejandro Suarez
would always be considered hispanic over white. My name always kept me grounded in reality
its just that my skin color gave me an invisibility cloak to a lot of biological racism which made
me believe racism was easing up in the U.S. I feel like I went through Cross model of Black
racial identity development but lightly went through the immersion stage because while I
connected with white culture more, I also never completely abandoned Colombian culture. I
never needed to surround myself with spanish people or dress differently or anything because my
name always reminded me I was hispanic. Also because of Americanization, my family in
Colombia never gave me any shit because they were also into the same things I was.
The mind blowing part for me though has been the effects of capitalism on our society
and how almost everyone is an addict chasing the dragon. I never realized the connection
between capitalism and racism before because capitalism has been sold to us as the American
Dream. Now that I think of it, if you mention anything other than capitalism in the U.S. and
youre considered an enemy of the state who is trying to destroy American values.
The idea that we can achieve our dreams of wealth with hard work is an easy idea to sell
because it sounds so simple and logically makes sense. The only issue is that it doesnt mention

the other factors that you need to break into the top percent. In fact, its a system that is set up to
make the rich richer and the poor poorer. The best part is that because the poor are desperately
trying to hold on to the low paying jobs, the rich can stir up racial tensions just to drive the price
of labor down. This leads to a misdirection from capitalism as a flawed system to fighting
between races. We then try to solve racial issue without changing the economic system it will
never be solved because we will continue to believe the lies we are told by those above us.
I can relate to this because my family like Polyestras and many others have believed in
the dream for our entire lives. Our own education system is set up so that if you work hard and
study the material were given then we can be at the top of our class. And for 12 years day in and
day out we see that for the most part the system works. Those who worked hard finished at the
top while those who slacked off would fail. I experienced this all my life so why shouldnt I
expect anything different when I get into the real world? Were told that if we do the work we
will find success, but its just the lie that keeps us going because very similar to race, class
jumping is just slightly less difficult. The rich that have been rich for generations see those who
jump class as new money and therefore a lesser rich. Theres no winning with these people! So if
the american dream is a lie, what am I supposed to pursue?
Guilt, confusion, and sadness because now that I have some answers, I have even more
questions. Did I really have a choice on who I wanted to be? Did I actually have any free choice?
Its been difficult trying to digest this new information because I have always been taught
differently, but is something Im going to have to work on. I feel sad because of how hard it truly
is to achieve something youre told everyone can do, but only very few have the resources to do
it and makes me wonder why bother?