Project: Human Barrier Deconstruction

In the interest of promoting universal human consciousness, and in recognition of our shared global traveler status, I intend to start a new project. Dillsnap Cogitations will be a forum for Individuals to write on topics related to their shared similarities with, or perceived differences from, their Earthly cohabitants.

My ultimate aim is to break down the mental barriers and artificial mental constructs that humans use to compartmentalize and divide each other. No formal request is necessary if you wish to contribute. I highly encourage any of my readers who wish to posit their thoughts for publication to notify me. My only request is that your words assist others in understanding who you are, and by extension, who we are.

The first kind soul to assist me with my project is Di. She is from South America and is the author of the blog My Life as an Alien. Her writings concerning the cultural differences between her native country and her new home attracted my attention. As a new American citizen, her perspective is illuminating to those, like me, who take our nation’s prosperity, rights, and privileges for granted. Here is her contribution to the the project.

Alien reflections

I come from a culture where there is no political correctness, I don’t really know if that is good or bad, but words don’t have as much power as here. A word can be good or bad depending on the intent and the way it is used. We call each other fat, short, tall, black, white, and it can be an insult as well as an affectionate nickname.

Sometimes I have trouble adjusting to this; I have to bite my tongue so that I do not offend anybody. Sometimes it is difficult to figure out what words I can use, since some words are acceptable for a group but not for others.

There is no racism, the color of someone skin doesn’t have the same meaning as here. Color is just more or less pigment, not race. There is however classism; people are judged by how much they have. There is also Machismo; it is a male oriented society, and there are places and/or instances where women are not treated fairly.

I had experienced discrimination for being a woman before, but here I have experienced racism and discrimination for being Latina, both from Caucasians and African Americans, but mostly from the later. I have learned from African Americans that the first thing on their identity is their race, and sometimes I feel they want it to be for me as well. Fortunately for me, I came here as an adult and that is a part of the culture I do not want to assimilate.

When people ask me ‘what are you’? I say ‘a woman’ (like that is not obvious) and when they ask what race I say ‘human’. Sorry, but I can’t buy the notion that we are different based on evolutionary adaptation.

There is not as much openness toward homosexuality and gender differences. I love that about the US, there is openness, not equality, but there is no legalized prosecution like in other countries. I believe people should be free to express themselves without fear.

The US has a higher standard of living than some other countries and that it is easier to achieve a better life here than in some other places.

I think that a large number of locals waste the opportunities they have here. I hate it when people complain and complain, about the country, the government, race, injustice, but do nothing about it. They don’t want to educate themselves or others, they don’t vote, they don’t try to change things; while at the same time, using and abusing the welfare system. (There are few people I know)

The US culture is monolinguistic and ethnocentric. I understand that English is a very important language and that the US is a very powerful nation, but it would not hurt to open your minds, ears and hearts to what is happening elsewhere.

My country has an official Language, Spanish, but you hear different languages spoken on the street and nobody cares. I have encounter people’s stares and dismissive comments when I speak Spanish, assumptions that I don’t speak English or that I am talking about them. I have talked to people from different countries and they all tell me, why do people assume that we are talking about them? If you where in China and you ran into an English speaker, what language would you speak? (food for thought)

There is a lot of infrastructure for people to visit and enjoy the vast geography of the US. Wherever I visit I can find a road that takes me there, services (such as bathrooms and food), good maps, and all kinds of facilities to make it easier for people to get to know the country. Where I come from there are a lot of places to visit, but you have to have the means to get there and it is a true adventure to find the places you are looking for, unless you have a guide or get really good instructions from the locals.

Government, police and other official institutions seem to work well in the US. I know some of you might not agree, but I do not think the US has the level of corruption that my country has. I think here there is a system of checks and balances, sometimes they might not check, but I think that the system here works a lot better.

Like in anyplace you are bound to find nice people and not so nice people. I have been very fortunate to have met wonderful people that had taught me about the cultural nuances and their openness has helped me open my mind a little more. I have also met people that had taught me what it feels like to be discriminated against, because I don’t have the right skin color or the right accent. To me these are both learning and enriching experiences, although being discriminated against due to my background is not my preference it has taught me about tolerance, compassion and ignorance.

I am preparing a post about funny things that have happened to me and other Alien friends adjusting to the cultural as well as language nuances, you might want to check back in a few days…

7 Responses to “Project: Human Barrier Deconstruction”

  1. 1 Glenn
    April 11, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Hi Di!

    That was very enlightening. The distinctions you made were great.

    It’s a shame we can’t have the best of both worlds on both sides of the planet, but someday man will evolve to that place — although perhaps not in our lifetimes.

    I really despise bigotry of any nature. The root cause, I believe, for it here is our English Anglo-Saxon roots. It’s ironic how religious principles are supposed to bridge the gaps among people. But Fundamentalist-Christian dogma in the U.S. has just done the opposite.

    For about a century, the Ku Klux Klan was terrorizing and murdering Black people “in the name of God,” who they rationalized favored whites. More recently, the Aryan Brotherhood is doing the same. They hold the Bible in one hand and a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf in the other, while attacking scores of people annually.

    Political Correctness is extremely difficult to handle unless you were born into this society after its implementation. At first I struggled, having that same feeling of walking on eggshells you described. But it has gotten easier for me since. However, those from my parent’s generation tend to resist it. They are not in the mood as old people to change their verbiage now.

    With regard to our government and police, we demand a higher standard here, and justifiably so. If we ever stop, the quality of life here will be flushed down the toilet!

    Johnnypeeper’s response:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but you seem to passively accept Political Correctness. The PC police are an anathema to a free society. By excising the words we can use to describe ourselves, others, our feelings, and our world, we lose the ability to form mental impressions and thoughts. Political Correctness is a form of mind control thrust on the populace by self-appointed morality dictators.

    In 1984, George Orwell was describing Newspeak when he said that it was “the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year.” The PC agenda has the same goals in mind as the architects of Newspeak. A free society must tolerate the racists, scumbags, and shit heels in order to remain free. Their right to espouse hatred allows us to identify and marginalize them.

  2. April 12, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    I concur that people should be free to express themselves without fear with a condition that one should be moderate to do so. What I am trying to say here is that, there must be a limit and exaggeration shouldn’t be employed.

    Johnnypeeper’s response:

    I agree that individuals should be mindful of the consequence of their words. That being said, I do not want the government to be the arbiter of what is acceptable or unacceptable speech. The responsibility is on the individual to conduct her/his self properly in a ordered society. When they state is given the power to suppress speech, the likelihood of abuse is great.

  3. 3 Glenn
    April 12, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    I am not a PC type. I do, however, believe in continuing evolving standards of decency. I make the distinction between free speech and hate speech. I do not support bigotry and haven’t long before we ever heard of PC.

    And let’s make a distinction here: Our First Amendment protects our free speech and expression from government — federal, state, city, county, municipal, etc. — intervention and prosecution It does not, however, offer protection from the private sector.

    That is why Don Imus got fired. He was protected from legal prosecution or persecution, but not from the corporate advertisers of his show who threatened to pull their business had he remained.

    It is perfectly legal for me to curse out my property manager. And she also has to right to refuse renewal of my lease when it expires.

    In the past, I was verbally abused by this one boss. Given my stand against abuse, I let him have it with both barrels. Then he fired my ass and had the legal right to do so.

    It is okay for Aryans to wear Nazi tattoos all over their bodies. But perspective employers don’t have to hire them, just like they refused to hire me during the cultural revolution unless I cut my hair about a foot shorter and kept clean shaven. (Actually, I figured if I had to do that, I might as well join the Navy, which allowed me to grow a beard and avoid Vietnam — a fear of mine given I was draft bait.)

  4. April 13, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    I enjoyed reading Di’s piece and applaud you for tackling this issue. I’ll look forward to reading future posts.

  5. April 14, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Thanks Di for sharing your experiences. It is so enlightening to read of people who feel no bearing of characteration based on the color of one’s skin. It is such an issue here in the US. And most of the people with this ignorance can never be convinced that people can not be judged by race, or any other outward characteristic for that matter. I am blessed to have friends of many races and nationalities. I am African American, and I humbly appologize if any of my African American sisters or brothers have given you a hard time. Some African Americans have a hard time dusting the past off there butts and moving on–mainly due to negative experiences. There are also those with fears of being hated, as we experience it so often. Some have fears of losing what we have, albeit it all is only an illusion which will turn to crystal dust in time. Some of it is simply human nature-what we’ve been taught and what’s been passed on, and of course our environment. I’m blessed that I don’t wear those blind folds, but I try to embrace all that I can–and when I feel myself losing tolerance, I simply remind myself that we are all, even with our fallacies, Children of God. I love embracing differences as well as likeness, as the myriad of it all makes life so much more interesting. I have seen that love can disolve all barriers, although some are so tough we might think twice before attempting to pass. Some barriers are not meant for one individual in particular to break, it might be destined for someone else. So I may nudge, but never with too much force. Anyhoo! Welcome to America, Land of the Free and Home of the Brave!
    Peace, Light Love . . . Cordieb.

  6. April 14, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    @Peeps. Peeps thanks for doing this. It takes special people like you to make positive change! I’ m still waiting for your answers to the meme of likes and differences. When you get a chance, of course. {{Wink}} {{Big Smile}}

    Lov ya. . .

  7. April 17, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Di, thanks for contributing to this project. I really enjoyed reading your perspective.

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Johnny Peepers

----> is a socio-pathetic degenerate with a penchant for cheap booze, ruphy-laden broads, and dim sum soup.


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