Talking Race in the Pacific Northwest
I have only been in Seattle for four weeks and I have already been told several times that I talk too much about race. "Why does it always have to be about race?" I feel like saying, "because it always is."
My theory is (and feel free to blast it) that people are even LESS comfortable talking about race, racism, and sensitive issues here than they are in the South. I think people here feel that because Seattle is so "liberal" that people are all equal. Everyone is on the same level. There's no reason to talk about race if everyone is on the same level. Well, I hate to break the news, but I'm still brown and most of my classmates are still White or Asian.
I make jokes about race and there's uncomfortable laughter. I make a comment in class and people look uncomfortable. C'mon. It's who we are for pepe's sake.
The other thing about being up here that people started telling me as soon as I got here is that the locals aren't very inviting. The people here are extremely nice, but that's as far as they'll go. They won't let you in. I was talking about this to a new friend over dinner the other day and she thinks it's because it's always raining over here. People tend to retreat into their homes. They shut the doors on the rain and others. She's a fellow Texican and feels that way.
No se. I'm going to continue talking about what I like to talk about. We'll see what kind of reactions I get. I don't want our society to be color blind. I want everyone to see that we're different colors, so that we can learn from each other. So that we can be better people. I want you to know that I'm a Chicano from South Texas. I want you to teach me about yourself. And I want to make fun of your dancing skills (or lack thereof).