Journal Entry #2 – The “N” Word

What does being a nigger-lover means to the residents of Maycomb County?  Why is this a powerful insult?

In literature, the word “nigger” is usually replaced for the “N-word.”  Usually, it refers to black or dark-skinned people, in the present, being one of the most racially offensive words.  It was commonly used in the past, but the last century, it appears to be a word which is used each day with more frequency.  It has been started to be used by black people, referring to other black people, but it is just acceptable when said by people within this community.  When this word is used by someone who’s not black, referring to someone who is black, it is considered racist comment.

To Kill A Mockingbird, a novel written by Harper Lee has been banned in different schools due to the use of the N-word.  Harper Lee uses this word for the purpose of providing readers a clearer view of the context and values o the community in which the novel is based on.

Atticus, as a lawyer, is defending a black man, Tom Robinson who has been accused of raping a white girl.  In the novel, the narrator’s father, Atticus, is frequently called by his friends and neighbors a “nigger-lover” for defending Tom Robinson.  This term was not only derogatory towards black people, but also a derogatory term against the white people who supported blacks.  This term reinforces racism which was lived in that era.

In my opinion, been called a “nigger-lover” was such an insult because blacks were seen as a lower class, they were seen as an inferior community with no value.  A white who is called to be a “nigger-lover” instantly seen as inferior, even though his/her race; you become categorized as a poor, dirty, lazy, and invaluable person, since defending or liking black people was unacceptable during the 1930’s.

 

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Journal Entry #3 – Discrimination In The 21st Century

Picture of the four players eating at the restaurant where their entrance was denied after their entrance was allowed a few days later.

Segregation in the United States during the 1930’s was common.  Society was divided based on their color skin, this determined the opportunities you had, where you were seated in the bus and trains, where you drink water, the schools you went to, along with many other things.   This was an issue believed that was left in the past, though recently, many cases related to the color skin, have been occurring, for example in the United States, with the former president: Donald Trump; and in Panamá, with the sudden prohibition of colored skin people entering to a restaurant in a prestigious area.

During March of 2017, four players of the Sub 17 National Soccer Team of Panamá, were invited by their coach, Felipe Borowsky to celebrate their accomplishments after being selected to participate on the Sub 20 national team.  The invitation was in a restaurant located in one of the most luxurious areas of Panamá City.  When the four players arrived at the restaurant, the waiter asked to sit and wait for a table since supposedly, there was no space.  

While they were waiting, a family of five arrived, and they were given a table.  Felipe Borowsky, at his arrival at the restaurant and saw the four players waiting, proceed to ask the waiter why were they waiting.  The waiter answered to Borowsky’s question: “ we have a target.”  While some believe the discriminative incident was due to their color skin, and others say it is because of the stereotype that Panamanian soccer players are poor, and are robbers. After this incident, many Panamanians have refused to assist to this restaurant, as a way of communicating that they are against any type of discrimination.

My Abuelito, My Abuelito Querido

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  Lelo, who is always working at the hospital or at the farm.  Lelo, who at 81 years still does surgeries, every week.  Lelo, who has had three open-heart surgeries in 80 years.  Lelo, who still refuses to stop driving, unless he is going to the farm.  Lelo, who works from Monday to Friday, and spends his weekends at the farm, every single weekend, no exception.  Lelo, who now walks slowly, and still gets tired.

     “Estoy en el hospital con Lelo, está enfermo,” my mom texted me, while I was at school. “Pero que le paso?” I texted my mom and dad.  

     Lelo, who raised my father and uncle alone, because my grandma died when he was 37.  My father was three, and my uncle was four.  Because losing my grandmother wasn’t enough, he had to get open – heart surgery when my dad and uncle were young, probably teenagers.

     Lelo, who entered with my mom to the operating room when I was about to be born.  Lelo, who was the first person to carry me, because my dad was in Chile.  Lelo, who a few months after I was born, his heart stopped again; taking him to have second open – heart surgery.  

     Lelo, who was in a very important hospital for me, and my family.  The hospital in which there is a conference room with the name of my grandmother, to honor her.  Lelo, who after attending a patient in the Hospital Santo Tomas, his heart missed again.  By this time, a third open – heart surgery, my brave, hard worker abuelo, with three open heart surgeries.

     Lelo, who was going to travel with me for carnivals.  Lelo, whose heart held him back again when we were going to travel.  Lelo, who now has a major heart structure deteriorated, my abuelo, with a heart structure deteriorated, even that sounds alarming. I can remember this moment perfectly, it was a normal Thursday night, or so I thought. My dad was doing a surgery, I texted him: “Puedo ir a casa de Maria Jose mañana?,” I asked.  He answered immediately, “No.”  Just like that, with no explanation. I couldn’t understand why?, what was the problem?.  The next morning, while I was getting ready for school, I asked him again: “Puedo ir a casa de Maria Jose.” Same answer: “No…”  Then he explained: “quiero que vayas a pasar tiempo con Lelo.”  I knew Lelo was at the hospital, but I didn’t know why was my Dad so desperate.  “Lelo tiene una estructura importante del corazón muy deteriorada, pero que podemos hacer, ya está mayor, con tres cirugías de corazón abierto,” my dad said, with watery, red eyes.  “Y no se puede hacer alguna cirugía o tratamiento?” I asked.  My dad explained to me, there’s no medicine, surgery, or treatment to fix my abuelito’s heart.  “Quiero que pases todo el tiempo posible con Lelo, en cualquier momento se nos va.”  That was all I needed to start crying, crying like a river without control.

     “Ahora viviré hasta los 105 años,” mi abuelito querido used to say after his third open- heart surgery.  Now I notice, that since the moment my dad told him that he had a major heart structure deteriorated, I had never heard him say it again.

Dear Diary,

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       Dear Diary,

      Today, my first job, my first day of work.  I went to work at Peter Pan Photo Finishers, where I had to lie about my age.  Aunt Lala works there, she told me that I just had to lie about my age, saying I was a year older and I was going to get the job.

     All was going pretty good, until break…I think it was time for night or middle shift, because some new staff came in.  I was sitting at the bench by the lockers, alone, until I met an Oriental Man.   He said hello, and we talk for a while.  He told me that I could sit with him at lunchtime, after talking to him, I felt relieved, I didn’t feel nervous anymore.

     We talked for a while, he told he to guess what day it was, I didn’t know.  He said it was his birthday, so please give him a birthday kiss.  He is old, what could possibly go wrong?  I thought that there wasn’t going to be any problem to give him a kiss on the cheek, but I was incorrect.  When I was going to kiss him on the cheek, he grabbed my face, and pressed it so hard against his face, he didn’t let go.

     He is an adult, and I don’t like to talk back to them, I feel intimidated by them.  I just let him kiss me, I didn’t know what to do, even though I didn’t feel comfortable with the situation.  I hope not to see him again, and if I do, I will be careful, because I already know his intentions.  My mom was right, she advertised me about these type of men, that only want to use me, and my lack of knowledge.

     Sincerely,

Esperanza

 

I Am From Poem

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I am from threads, from Polleras and sombreros pintados.

I am from the dirt on my boot, rigid, and strong, which I could ever take out after those rainy days.

I am from Sterculia apetala. the national tree, who’s thorns got into my fingers on those January afternoons spent by the river.

I’m from livestock auction and big cheeks.

From Carlos, the attorney on December 20, 1989; and Carmen, the nurse, the one remembered by all nurses and doctors.

I’m from the “painstaking” and “past-it ons.”

From “you will be a carnival queen” and “you have farms to take care.”

I’m from the go to church and pray the Lord, even though I still don’t believe.

I’m from Panama, the land with two oceans.

From pork, guandu rice, and sweet plantains.

From the National Emblem my uncles designed and painted.

The couple owning a restaurant on main street, just to sen my grandpa to Switzerland.

 

Inside the drawers, old pictures, unknown faces, next to my grandma’s, my role model, which I couldn’t meet.  Those old pictures, which reflect hard work and persistency.

Louie, His Cousin and His Other Cousin

Yellow Cadillac Robber Finally Caught

sev14.jpg         Young men from Mango Street, arrested after steeling a yellow Cadillac.

     Yesterday’s afternoon, the yellow Cadillac that was stolen, was finally found.  The young men from Mango Street, was happily spending his afternoon with family and friends, until he heard the police.  Immediately, he stopped the car, and the kids that were with him, got out of the car.   The young man tried to escape, but he crashed into the lamp post in the corner.  The young man resulted with a bruised forehead and a bloody lip.  He was arrested by the cops.  His family and friends waved at him while he disappeared.

Article without bias:

Puerto Rican male arrested on Mango Streetsev14.jpgPuerto Rican male was arrested while driving a yellow Cadillac.

     Yesterday’s afternoon, a Puerto Rican male was arrested after escaping from the police.  The man was spending his afternoon with family and friends, until he heard the police.  Immediately, he stopped the car, and his companions got out of the car.  The man sped up, crashing into a lamp post in the corner, due to the mall size of the road.  He resulted with a bruised forehead and a bloody lip.  He was arrested by the cops, while his family and friends waved at him while he disappeared.

 

Dear Cathy

Dear Cathy,

    I am writing this letter to you to let you know how I feel about you.   First of all, I want you to know that when I first met you, you seemed to be a good friend, but there is something about you that makes me uncomfortable. Sometimes, you make me feel bad.  Every time I have a conversation with you, you end up making offensive comments and sharing negative opinions about others to me, and I want this to change.

    I am new to this neighborhood, and I know very few people; however, you are one of the few people I know. I feel that I am been used and that you pretend to be my friend just because you have no other friends here in the neighborhood. I think that you have no friends because the derogatory comments you make.  You act like if you are superior to rest of the neighborhood; for example, every time you repeat you are the great great grand cousin of the queen of France.

    But that’s not all, when I met Lucy and Rachel you ran away and you  stated that I shouldn’t talk to them because they smelled like brooms.  Rachel and Lucy are amazing fiends; they know what a true friendship is like, not like  our “friendship” that is based on conditions and time limits. A true friend is loyal, there’s no distance that can break a real friendship.

    The fact that you and your family are moving because Latino families like mine are moving in, also affects me.  Why don’t you like us here? What’s wrong with the Latinos?  We are not inferior to you, and we don’t have anything different than you. The only difference is that we speak Spanish. Your comments and your actions make me feel unwanted. There are many stereotypes about Latinos, but they are not true, and don’t apply to everyone.

    I want you to be conscious of this. It will also help you when hanging out with others.  My recommendation: be careful of what you say, and think before you act. I know that you may not say offensive things because you want someone to feel bad, it’s something you do without noticing.

I hope you understand my point.

Sincerely,

Esperanza