SO people may have heard of the Arlene Davila speaker event that happened tonight in celebration of Latino Heritage Month. Thanks to all who came out but especially thanks to those who cancelled their intramural soccer games, and Thursday night bong parties to come a support the Latino Community.
Hours before the event I got an email from a member of my soccer team (Pussy Whipped, that has way too many white people on it for me to ever show up again. Aside, I already learned last semester when I failed Co-ed indoor soccer that I would never play soccer with white people when I couldn’t even bear it enough to show up for half a credit (aprox. Worth $1,000)). Anyway, the email said:
“Hey that talk looks pretty great, but on the off chance you aren’t going or would rather play futbol instead the club team wants to go!!”
Ok. 1. Thanks for you thinking that the talk is “pretty great”. I appreaciate your white male validation. I see that it isn’t interesting enough for you to actually take your ass to the talk. 2. Who said it was ok for you to say futbol? It’s Latino Heritage Month, your telling people not to come to the talk, but want to use our language? Trick NO! White students appropriating the Spanish language, dropping it in when convenient, never ok. Keep my heritage language out your mouth! If I’m not allowed to speak it, if my dad’s not allowed to speak it, then bitch you definitely are not supposed to be speaking it. Especially in this context.
So I thought it would be a good moment to tell this guy off, and also get some things off my chest about why I will never show up to intramural again, why during our first game I was completely blown that he was not passing the ball, stealing at the wrong times. Learn how to play like a community member! Why I am being pushed out of another space in Oberlin. I even quit last year too!
So here is what I said:
This email is rude. I organized this talk. Thanks for undermining a good attempt to get people out.
1. Your not latino, call it soccer. You don’t play futbol. Futbol is played with people (LATINO) who know how to engage in community soccer, as somebody who grew up on the cancha (soccer field) I know what playing futbol is, and the way you take up space, steal the ball, don’t pass, is far from how my culture plays ball.
2. I’m not playing intramural once again this semester because you and your cis-dude, non passing the ball, stealing the ball from beginners, spanish-mocking, white cohort has ruined it (for the second time). Unless I find another team you won’t be seeing me.
3. I don’t care if this email is over the top or mean. So complain to whatever white friends you want about it. You’re never going to know what its like to not be able to your own heritage sport comfortably because of your gender/race/ethnicity.
And then I get this long ass email (warning it gets full of white guilt and really boring white liberal shit, so I will highlight the fucked up parts about it)
Heres the Response:
I thought we were somewhat of friends (nope) and thats why I feel I need to respond - but mostly, I’m sorry that I detracted from your event. Do you really think people who were going to go to the talk changed their mind because of my email? I don’t think so, and that was not my aim at all - I wanted to give those people who had been looking forward to playing soccer on Thursday a chance to do that.
You do not get to define who I am. Fuck off. Clearly you only see me at face value and yes I’m white and male, what do you want me to do about that? (LEAVE THE SOCCER TEAM) I have a second family that I have spent a good portion of my life with. My brothers Paco Rafa and Diego my mom Julie my grandmother Margo and my father Arnoldo. Technically their my god-family but for all intensive purposes they are my family, call me their 4th son, and I am extremely close with them. My father came from Costa Rica as a fourteen year old boy, living, working and studying through an education program jointly coordinated by the catholic church and UC Berkeley. My 2nd family is Costa Rican, and I am a part of that family no matter what you say. I’m not claiming to be latino and I don’t think I’ve ever claimed that, but I do have a latino family and you trying to separate me from them, to create distance that doesn’t exist based purely on how you incorrectly perceive me, is terribly offensive.
(WOWWWWWWWW SO YOUR NOT RACIST BECAUSE YOU HAVE A “SECOND” LATINO FAMILY, SECOND! We need to talk about tokenizing brown friends/family and taking them in to identify with POC’s (or avoiding accountability for being racist).
Also, soccer is not a spanish invention and you do not get to claim the sport for yourself. (SORRY DID U SAY FUTBOL OR SOCCER?) For one its an english invention (RIGHT PRAISE THE COLONIZER) and two its the world’s most popular sport played as a lifestyle by more peoples than just latinos. Soccer was the language that allowed me to make friends with people my own age when I studied abroad in Zanzibar. (RACIST)
Your anger with the white male patriarchy is justified, (THANKS!) and the social system of America perpetuates injustice by giving unfair advantages to white people, to wealthy people, and to men. Now i realize I’m getting into your area of study, and not mine (OR MY LIFE), but these systems are perpetuated because of human tendencies to favor people like themselves (ABSOLOUTELY WRONG AND RACIST, WHAT IS COLIANLISM AND WHAT IS CAPITALISM) - and because positions of power in this country are generally held by white males, white males receive huge advantages. Advantages that they do not deserve. Growing up as a white male in this society, I have benefited countless times from these advantages that I did not and do not deserve, but growing up I was generally not even aware that I was gaining an advantage - it was the only reality I knew. This is a question I have truly struggled with through my life - I don’t deserve these advantages, but they exist for me, I never sought them out, I didn’t want them and cant give them away, what am I supposed to do? How can I feel like any of my efforts are the product of my own effort and not simply my unequal social status? This made me very depressed for a time, (WHITE GUILT, TEARS) I didn’t want to do anything because everything I did do was the product of those advantages. (LOL). Eventually I decided, that was almost more disrespectful, to do nothing despite having these advantages. It is a fact that I have those advantages, but I cant let that stop me, I can do a lot of good and use those advantages to do positive things and chip away at that unjust structure. (BUT UR NOT OPEN TO FEEDBACK)
My area of study is Environmental Studies, a field dominated by white males. But also a field whose main work is building equality and dealing with the geo-spatial injustices of our present world. I am going to use what I’ve been given (even if its unfair and unjust - the fact remains that IT IS at least currently, which is all that matters for now) to do the most good for the most people that I possibly can. This sounds absurdly hokey, but honestly that is what motivates me. Would you prefer that I do something else?
Maybe this gives you a little bit more insight into who I am so that you can make more informed judgements.
Again I’m sorry to distract from your event today.
OKOKOKOK. So white people with “brown” associates can’t be racist, or appropriating, or take up space, and make space uncomfortable and unsafe for people of color and women. BASIC. Second, did you once address how you take up to much space and make this space unsafe? Did you once consider leaving this space? I’m glad you’ve recognized your not latino, how hard was that? Did you ever think that you shouldn’t speak or advertise your Spanish because your white. How hard is it to understand when a member of the latino community comes out and says, DO NOT APPROPRIATE AND FETISHIZE OUR LANGUAGE. GET OFF MY CANCHA!