To be found among many...
What happens on a daily basis is only of personal concern when we, as a general public, decide to take special note of events in our mind. The minor, almost unimportant, details that people tend to look over or graze by can be the most important detail to be picked out. Where is Waldo? Why does that book cover so much interest for kids and even adults now? Simply, find Waldo in a massive crowd of events. The personal stories found in the readings are much like Waldo. How can we pick out issues on race, gender, and class if individuals are not looking for the problem? The readings bring forth this theme in my mind of those "isms" that cover the real problems about sex, gender, and class. Those that benefit from the structure that is placed in society are not interested in finding the issues. Rather, we notice that there is social injustice and do not pursue an answer.
The stories from the reading invoke a feeling of understanding and displeasure. I find that i can relate to some of the stories in minor and major ways. As a heterosexual-Asian-male, i have suffered and benefited from the system that America lives in. The stories allow me to understand some hardships that i have encountered to almost seem common among my own life experiences. For the few who have lived in a Hmong community, or even experienced the bond within my culture, my "americanized" life style to the Hmong family traditions are at contradicting pulls. To feel out of place and in place from one day to the next, I can understand such sympathy and discourse. But similar to the many stories that we read, i feel that i have placed this issue of race on a back burner of my mind to be dealt with in a later time of life. I have come to accept the fact that we are all different and that these differences are major parts in building our character and how we live our lives. This double-edge effect of race, gender, and class is just a common part of my life for now. I win and i lose from the system.
I find that i reflect best with the story of the lady from India who was finding her roots and trying to figure out what it meant to be a feminist-indian-woman in America. Her closing note about being everything all at the same time despite the many views of others around her is how my life is justified in the balancing game of our social structure. I am an American. I am a Hmong Male. I am a College Student. I am a Heterosexual. I am what has been and what will be. We shape our lives by the experience and outlook at life. I am the one next to Waldo, smiling and waiting to be found.
So i have these concerns and questions: Do you realize this social injustice? Do you think a change within the system is possible within our life time? Can another person understand another without experiencing similar events in life?