Card Games

I am a Caucasian female.

 

What does that say about me? Only that I sunburn easily.

 

Now, of course, having grown up in a Caucasian family, I exhibit certain behaviors that are attributed to white people. Oh em gee. She’s white.

Strangers assume a lot about me. They assume that I’m racist, stuck up, privileged, snotty, a know-it-all, a snitch, etc. But what they don’t know, because they fail to look beyond their assumptions, is that the majority of my life was spent in a community in which I was the minority. Well, the majority of the years that I remember. And I’m the furthest thing from racist. The Medic, obviously, is Mexican.

At the age of ten, I moved to a town where the majority of the population is Hispanic. Where I had previously lived, the population was mostly Caucasian. The way that I was raised, however, was to be aware of and appreciate all cultures. In first grade, we did a project illustrating how people in different countries celebrate Christmas (or Hanukkah or Cuanza). It was really interesting. I also grew up with a friend, The Greek, whose parents frequented Greece. They cooked amazing Greek food and invited us to spend the Greek Easter with them. If you haven’t tried Greek seasoned lamb with their cucumber sauce, you should. It’s amazing! I like to consider myself to be well cultured. In fact, I probably know more about the Mexican or Japanese cultures than I do the cultures of my ancestors (Irish, Italian, Swiss, German, and Israeli{?}).

 

My point in all of this is that I’m tired. I’m tired of the “race card”. I’m tired of people assuming that, because they’re a different race, life is automatically more trying. Yes, it’s difficult to be a minority. I understand that. I experienced my fair share of being pushed aside and mistreated because I didn’t look like everyone else, because I grew up differently. Some people don’t even know me by my name. Some people only know me as “white girl”, “snow”, or other nick-names that reference my pale skin. I’m not offended by it, but I don’t want it to be my only defining characteristic. I am more than the color of my skin. So is everyone else. I’m not in any way downplaying the difficulties that are presented by certain circumstances. I am, however, saying that people need to stop using “cards”. Everyone faces difficulties in life, and you can’t measure how those difficulties affect other people. Something hard for you is something easy for someone else.

 

Relating to having a high functioning form of autism, it’s the same thing. Having Asperger Syndrome or HFA is not what defines you. It doesn’t give you a right to hold it over people’s heads or amplify the difficulties that it gives you. It’s doesn’t give you the right to make your life seem more difficult than the next person’s. Your life is difficult in its own way. Take those difficulties and make something out of it. Do yourself a favor and don’t use an “autism card”. It’s not fair to you or other people; it makes them feel bad, and sometimes guilty. It’s not fair to yourself because it limits you. If you define yourself with such a minute term, you are hindering your own growth outside of that term.

 

I don’t want to see myself as a great “aspie” writer. I want to see myself as a great writer. I don’t want to be the best “aspie” girlfriend that I can be. I want to be the best girlfriend that I can be. By defining ourselves and labeling ourselves with these things (white, black, aspie, etc.), we limit what we can be. Don’t hamper your own growth. Don’t use “cards”. Don’t hurt yourself by doing that. Define yourself without the labels.

 

Peeved,

Allie.

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One thought on “Card Games

  1. Hi, My name is Dalia and this is an amazing, insightful article. I agree 100% that labels are not productive and hinders people abilities to achieve the fullest potential.I would love to share this article on my son’s Ethan Facebook, Do I have your permission? Suffering is optional:-)

    My son, Ethan is a 17-year-old nonverbal boy with autism and verbal apraxia. At the age of 10, the experts said he would never read, write, or do math.
    Today, Ethan is doing advanced math including algebra. His reading comprehension is amazing, his handwriting is legible and improving daily, and he types 65 words a minute independently.
    Click here to watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evjbx9_RiMY
    Ethan’s story – Breaking the autism glass ceiling is a video that has provided hope and inspiration to families in over 85 countries.
    Many parents of children with special needs have been told by the experts that there is no hope for their children they will never be able to ________ (fill in the blank). It is for these parents that we created this video full of hope and inspiration. Ethan was one of these children, told by the “experts” after conventional methods did not seem to be working, that Ethan would never read, write, or do ordinary academics. His goal in life would be to learn life skills only. Ethan has proved them wrong! Through hard work, patience, and an alternative teaching strategy that begins with believing the child can learn and thinking outside the “conventional” box, Ethan has learned what was deemed impossible.

    https://www.facebook.com/ethanshkedypublic

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