January 2024

Interracial Racism

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I hope you guys enjoy. Hello, my name is Lyra and I'm honored to be here with you all. Internalized racism is something that many people have experienced. Internalized racial inferiority is the acceptance and acting out of the three-definitioned self, anchored on the historical designation of race.


stated differently, those who don't have white skin or straight blonde hair, often really are too conform to the accepted ideal, because white people's appearance is considered the ideal. Because of these discriminatory attitudes, a large number of people experience self-doubt or desire to change as they get older. We wish to re-awareness of this issue that many people deal with and contribute to its resolution, in addition to making others happy with their appearance. Okay, so...


Racism, in case you're a little confused by the meaning of internalized racism, racism is generally seen as just social or systemic issues, but really a lot of it is within our own communities and our own cultures where we feel the need to not be our own race and we wanna be a different race, or we wanna be the superior race. And so we feel bad about ourselves and sometimes people make us feel bad about ourselves and we accept that.


your background, your ethnicity, and your race, it affects how that plays into your life. So how me or Eliana or one of us, we may have different ways we experience it. And so me as a Cuban-American, as a first generation, I would be going into how I experienced that and how I've grown up with that in my life.


Okay, so, as you know, I'm a first generation, that means my parents came from Cuba, and so there was this belief that, or my parents are obviously not the idea, or they wanted to assimilate, and so they make me feel like I have to assimilate in a way sometimes, and sometimes I would want to...


Sorry. Sometimes I would feel like I couldn't talk in Spanish on the phone with them when I was in school. Sometimes, um, I was like at a party one time and I wanted to play music and my friend didn't want to play Hispanic music. And it's just, and it's normal for her and her family to feel like they can't be Hispanic in public. And it's just this idea that we can't be Hispanic in public. That we have to be white.


So personally, I visited Cuba a few years ago. My memory's a little foggy, but I remember it specifically. I went to my dad's hometown, which is not Havana. And it wasn't the same as it was. I have family and family. Visited them for a week. Everything was nice. There was AC in all the house, in all the cars. They just had everything. They had shoes, they had clothes, they would walk the streets. But for some reason, the majority of them.


When I went to my dad's hometown, it was very poor. All the houses were run down, no HD. You would walk the streets, no cars, it was just only horses and people walking.


And for some reason I looked around and it was only dark skinned people. There was no white person in sight but me and my brother. And I felt out of place, it just didn't feel good. But the only reason we were okay was because my dad was from the United States. He had money, he'd bring money over. So we had a decent house and a very crappy village just because we had the opportunity to leave. But visiting it was one of like the scariest and most heartbroken things for me at that age.


I'm also Cuban. Yeah, I'm also Cuban. But Elioni was born in Cuba. Yeah, I was born in Cuba. So I still kind of grew up seeing more of the life.


So in Cuba they do this thing called a keratinum, which is a hair relaxer, which makes your hair straight. And it's like a really big thing to get it. So after when girls hit 15 or past it, it's a really big deal. That's a really big change for them and a really big deal for them to get this hair relaxer to make their hair straight and make it more manageable.


because curly hair and like not straight hair is considered ugly and hard to manage. So they said that, so growing up I always thought my hair was ugly. So when I hit like sixth grade or seventh grade, I did a keratin which ruined my hair. I had to get my hair like shocked off because there was part of it straight, there was part of it curly. But I had the idea that my hair was ugly and I had to like look like a white person instead of looking like me or like my family members.


I also did this thing where I had these really big highlights and they were blonde because I wanted to look like my white friends instead of looking like my black friends because I was around them more and Hispanic cultures, you want, they make it so you want to be white in a way. They don't flat out say it, but they do certain things that make you feel a certain way to make you feel like that's how you have to be.


So similar to Eliani, at the age of six, I got what we call it, we call it a perm. I had my first hair straightened perm, and for the age six to 12, every three months I got my hair perm straight because.


My mom said, oh, your hair is cartoon managed. It's not as pretty. It's not presentable. And for the longest, my hair was straightened. And one thing she would say is, oh, shake it like a white girl. And I was like, oh, OK. And then as I got older, I saw more girls who looked like me with curly hair. So I let my hair grow out. And I did a big chop, a mini-grow.


something and then I had a mini-rot and I let it rot. So now my hair is curly again. And then another personal experience that really hit home. Both Haitian and African-American, my mom's African-American and my dad is from Haiti. I have two other siblings from my dad. And when my sister came to America in 2009, she saw


all these white girls who are popular and on TV and that's who she wanted to be. And that's she felt like that's that was the superior race was to be white and she went into the bathroom with a bottle of bleach. Sorry. I poured it over her skin and tried to make her


It really hurt. It hurt. Both my dad and my mom and my aunt and us. Because we were like, you're beautiful. You don't need to do that. It's your skin to feel like somebody else. So yeah, it was hard. But she got over it now. My sister loves her skin. My sister, she's 25 now and living life. Yeah.


and it was more like Asian food. And the other kids in the school would look at it, and they would just look at me differently and say like, why are you bringing that food here? And it would make me feel very insecure about myself. And I would go home and tell my parents, I'm not bringing this food no more. Like, I can't eat this food around other people.


Now that I'm growing up, I just accept my culture and I love my food. So, when they try getting me food, they love it too. So I know how to be.


My friends would always make fun of me for speaking another language and still to this day I would try to hide by speaking Vietnamese in front of my parents like with my parents around my friends because they would still make fun of me. But they don't know. They don't know like speaking another language.


Oh, also, our friend Dads been Jenkins. She's not here today, so I'm gonna explain her part and her personal experience.


The color of my skin never fazed me until I got to middle school. Every day I went to school and was picked on for being very dark by other black little boys. This caused me to want to become lighter like the other kids that weren't being picked on. The solution isn't to be lighter, it is to stick together and not have our skin colors define us. As I grow up, I see the problem our own picking on our...


I see the problem. Our own picking on our own just to go with the crew when we need to be standing up for each other. Even in my own family, I have always been called black. Which was weird because everyone in my family is black. I never understood the idea of being praised for being white. That's Jasmine's part.


If you guys got any questions, you guys can just raise your hand. If you want to talk about something personal that you've experienced and want to share with the group, raise your hand and we will now commit ourselves. What about further ado, Harry? So I did some research on my own regarding Cuba's backstory on racism and why it's so bad over there.


So Cuba in 1965 had a revolution from Spain and from Russia. And it was led by Fidel Castro and eventually it was successful because Fidel Castro brought communism, which is an unknown story.


with communism, he banned racism, supposedly, that's what he said, and by law racism is banned. But if you look past the law, just go into the public, it's not banned. A lot of people from Cuba have tested and said about themselves they would prefer to be white because out of the nine million people in Cuba, 60% said they were white, 20% said they were mixed, and 10% said they were black.


Afro-Cubans, I think, from Africa, don't want to be considered white just because they're not African and Cuban. But people don't look at them, they say they're different, they don't like them just because of the color of their skin. Another thing is, like Eliana mentioned, their hair, they consider frizzy hair over there not normal, they consider it bad, and so that's why everybody tries to change it. But...


Just over there, black people, which is just Afro-Cubans really, are considered bad people over there just because of their skin color, even though racism by law is banned over there, apparently.


So this is a lot, like hearing you guys talk about all of this. And it might just seem at surface level like, oh, it's just a girl straightening her hair, wanting to look pretty, or things like that. It just seems small. But this is like some deep, long-term self-hatred. It's like an identity thing that affects you throughout your life, even as you're an adult. And it's really, really damaging when you have a little girl


painting the color of her skin, the way she looks, the way her face looks, the fact that her nose isn't skinny enough, the fact that it's so hard for your own psychology and it's so heartbreaking that these things happen.


These little comments that kids make don't just come out of thin air. It's from things that they're seeing in the media. It's from the way that other people make them feel. It's from the way that school makes you feel. And.


It's just like a really big deal of that. It takes years. This, I feel like, especially internalized, it's a deep root of trauma from your parents saying it to you. So your parents said it to you, your mom's mom said it to her, and so on and so forth. So I feel like it's been passed on generation to generation. That's how it's been for a while. Um, like my little aunt...


feature kind of like put together. This is like more of a personal thing. Growing, like, not even personal, I've done like a lot of little pranks before. If you have curly hair and you straighten your hair and you get comments like, oh, your hair looks better this way. Your hair looks better this way. It kind of like adds to it.


It kind of adds to it, like making you feel like, oh, I look better this way, like not being me. We try to be someone else, I look better this way. And also going to the language thing. When I was able to speak English better, like I got really praised for it than when I got to speak Spanish in a way. So I made me...


Now I can still speak Spanish, but it's harder for me. So being praised for speaking English, maybe you want to speak English more to continue getting that praise. And me getting praise for restraining my hair, maybe you want to keep doing that because I kept getting praise. So I was praised for not being me. So that made me want to not be me. And we have a hand raised, so. So please, can I use your mic?


Okay, I'm sorry. Pause please. Wait, one second. I can't hear you. Oh, sorry. Sorry. Okay, you can start again. We put our volume up. I just wanted to say... Okay, so we're going to start again.


They was a text, and they put a white doll in front of her and a black doll in front of her. And they were asking her questions, and it was like, which one's for you? I got one.


I think that really hurt me because it's the kids. Because the parents are teaching their kids. Not just the kids too. I agree.


And yeah, because when I was growing up, my mother was straightening her hair. That's what I saw. That was straightening her hair. And you want to strip my hair too. I saw her hair long and pretty. I saw her bleaching, stuff like that. That's what made me like, being like, what's wrong with me? Because my own mother was doing that.


So that's my story and I feel like ever since I was little, like growing up on that, it really hurt my feelings. It seems to do with Detroit too because it's an Asian culture, bleaching is a thing, African culture bleaching is a thing because we think it looks beautiful, it's better.


Okay, guys, we have a special guest.


I grew up, I remember seeing my auntie. She wasn't really dark skinned. She was more like brown skinned like my color. But so her it wasn't enough. She wanted to be like, anybody else, she wanted to be lighter. She wanted to be light skinned. She mostly wanted to be white. So she would spend thousands of dollars on buying different creams. She would like get chemical burns on her skin, on her face. She wanted to be able to go out in the sun.


go to work, but she would never stop because she wanted to fit in with everybody. And then you would think it would only be the grown people, but it would be the kids too. And I remember from like even my own personal experience, I started feeling like I was too dark. Because people would always say, oh you're getting, I used to be lighter, but now you're getting darker. So I remember one time I started bleaching and I got chemical burns on my face. My face started peeling, I couldn't go to school for a week.


And that's why I decided to love my skin even more, because I felt like jogging the skin for a reason. So why should I change it to be like somebody else? I don't want to be like that.


something to understand because like the time we're living in now people want to be somebody else like why can't we all just be as similar as that we are now why should we have to get lighter darker like some like some white people did tanning but why are we trying to be like them when they don't even want to be themselves


Thank you.


Alright, so I was gonna talk about expanding more on the racism the fact of wanting to change I think personally this is just an inference I guess I think people want to be white or white in quotations because of media like just straight media all the people in media, all the famous people 90% of them are gonna be white all the famous like um


All the actors are 90% white. All the musicians are 90% white. And it's just, why are they so much bigger than the minority groups in the US? Why is everybody trying to be more like them? It's because they have the most attention. We want attention as well, but nobody's willing to give us it. And it just sucks. Because, for example, I'm a lot whiter than Eliana or Lyra.


It's basic. But the thing is, is that I'm Cuban. And I love to be Cuban, but I can't because I'll go to someone and they'll say, oh, you're white and I'm Cuban. Just because I don't look like it, it just sucks. Because I wish I... that makes me want to wish that I was darker. Because not being Cuban is just basically saying I don't have a culture at all.


and it's not something I don't like because being white just makes me mad. Like, you can't see my culture just because of my skin color, but I try to show it, but people just don't understand. And it's just not fun to be white. Yeah, I get the same thing. I speak Spanish, and you're like, oh, you don't look Cuban. You can't look like...


Cubas are like, as, yeah. Like they go from here to here, and then there's that in the middle, like it's everything. It's not just, it's not just, like, real. Yeah. We have three generations working here, and it shows you exactly what cubas are. Yeah, so, yeah. That was really good. So, I guess we should talk about, like, some solutions. So, okay. We think it can help. Yeah, we think it can help. So.


It's not, so it's gonna persist as an issue, but there are some things that have helped me with my confidence as being Cuban or as being darker, because it doesn't only have to be somebody who's Cuban. It could be a darker Mexican girl, it could be a South Asian girl, it could be a black girl, it could be any girl, it could be an Asian girl. Presented in the media, it makes me feel good about myself for being my color, and like, I saw like in the Barbie movie,


who is brown like me, and she's beautiful. And it just made me feel so good about myself. And in the show, Wednesday Addams, she's full Hispanic descent. And that makes me feel good. Seeing people your own color presented in the media helps your confidence and helps you feel like, oh, I can be beautiful too, and I could be happy with looking how I do. And it's just really important that we have that representation for all groups of people.


Another thing we could do is surround ourselves around people that look like us and that are happy with who they are. For example, Dazlin and people have this, like, connect on this. We started hanging out with Miss Lynn and a bunch of other people that looked like us, black girls, who were happy with who they were. They loved their hair, they loved their skin, they loved how they really looked, the way they felt. So...


I would call her like, oh I love your curly hair, and it made me realize that I don't have to straighten my hair. That could just be me. And that does, and then her complexion is beautiful. And then we kept saying that, and it's true. So she finally was able to see herself the way others see her, the way we see her as beautiful. So I feel like.


Having people who see you, not just for your color, but who you are is very important. And that also helps stop the cycle. Like Deetra said, it goes on from generation to generation. So your mother told her mother to like that. So I feel like if we end the cycle and we teach our children in the future to love themselves no matter what they look like and who they are, I feel like that will end this. Just not just interpersonal, internalized racism, but just racism as well.


I'm taking back in your black father. There's no way you can stop internalized racism besides taking your own actions. Just be yourself. That's all you can really do. You just have to express your culture like me. Even though I'm Cuban, I will blast Cuban music to the day I die in my butt.


make sure I show it off because I'm Cuban and I don't care what anybody says.


If you still dare die, I will show it, I will be myself.




I think there's a hand written, I think I heard something. Sophia. Oh, Sophia, go ahead. Sophia.


Thanks for watching!


Going back on to representation, back to what Larsa said in the Barbie movie, the president was a black woman. And that felt, I was like, oh, wow. And then another thing is, for the longest people didn't know I was Haitian. So when they would be like, oh, when I would say, oh, I'm Haitian, I'm like, oh, you don't look Haitian. You don't, you don't.


You just don't look at like, you don't look at what they say Haitian people are supposed to look like. I'm like, what? And then when I started, because I started hanging around, I've known Ms. Lynn forever, but I started hanging around Ms. Lynn last year during school and seeing all the other Haitian girls and everything I felt like, I felt better about myself because I'm like...


Like I've known these girls for the longest, but like actually being around them and seeing them and seeing how I felt better. Like, oh yeah, I'm Haitian, guys. Like, it just feels bitter about myself because I'm like...


people who around more people.


or like what I know.


take pride in their future. So Deetra just opened a thought in my head, and I wanted to say something too. It was, damn, forgot. Wait, I just had it in my head. It was such a good idea.




example, I don't know, you know, location, that's just something that we need to start pushing for, start realizing that they don't need to say that we can keep it in our dogs or just not think they have a whole mess. That's where the problem occurs. And that's where all the bad thoughts go. That's where all the people start to think they shouldn't be this culture. Why are they? Why should they be different? And they start to change themselves. But we can have people stop


So I'm just saying my thoughts before we answer your question, Ethiopia. So usually when people see me that they don't know me, they'll be like, oh, that's the Chinese boy. I never just like guessed that I'm Chinese.


And back then, I used to just be insecure and not even say anything. But a solution that people could do is just educate them. If you say, I'm Vietnamese, they probably don't even mean it. It's just like the standard. All Asians are Chinese. But if you educate them, that's one person they know. If I say, I'm Vietnamese, they'll be like, oh, you're Vietnamese. And they won't make the mistake again. So I say educate them. And also with the food thing, I've seen a TikTok


eating his Hispanic food and people were making fun of him and he was like, why don't you just take a bite? And then when he took a bite, they were like, shoot, I'm Hispanic too. Right? He just loved it. You know what I mean?


to me it still happens to me people


call me Mexican and it's just so horrible, like the insensitiveness of the generalization of like, oh, this is your race. And just like, and at one time I had a friend who I was like, oh no, I'm Cuban. And she's like, oh, it's all the same thing. And it's like completely invalidating me as like who I am in my group and just.


Yeah, so sometimes you need to be careful how you talk to people and these things that you say to them. Ask them before you do. Yeah, you might not think it hurts someone, but if... If you can't, like, I've heard that if you can't fix it in the next, like, three seconds or five seconds, you shouldn't say it at all. For example, saying, you don't look human enough, or you don't look patient enough. Yeah, you can't fix that in the next five seconds, so don't, like, bring it up. Alright, question... Sophia. Sophia and then our other... Nate and Lee.


So when they come up to our faces and say stuff like that, we have to educate them. And we have to be patient with them because they don't have the information that we have. Do you understand? So we have to be patient with people when they come up to our face and tell us certain things because they don't understand it. We do have to educate them. Like for our nation, for me, Yuma, and Dietra, I feel like we need to put out our culture more so they can know, so they can be educated


what not to think what to think.


Thank you for sharing. Thank you, Sophia. That was really good. Nathalie. Nathalie, you can unmute your mic now.


We can't hear you. You're unmuted, but we can't hear you.


Thank you.


Nailing if you want you can write it in the comments box Or at least like if you need to leave your rejoin we'll stay on Oh, um, I think


Because watching these Google needs and stuff and talking to members of ARC can really help you get educated. And I hope that data leads back.




It's where most of the noise comes from because we're so open to it. Like, no matter what, if you go as a teenager, you're gonna go throughout the day, if you have a phone with Wi-Fi or... And you have social media, you're gonna go through social media at least once a day. And I guarantee you, you're gonna see either one person either trying to do something or what, and you're gonna see them and it's gonna become normalized in your brain. You're gonna see more of it and more of it and more of it, like, the more you go through social media.


So I think we're just so used to it that it's just wired into our brain, like everything that we see and it causes us to think of what the normal is and how we affect them, why we change. I feel like this is going on for a while now because it's so easy to access.


social media, TikTok, it's easy to create an account. You don't have to push any of the three accounts now. You can just get the app and you can just scroll and most of the people on the free page or on your explore page are not black. If I went on YouTube and looked up black content creator, they have way less subscribers and viewers than other whites.


creators and stuff like that. And same thing with followers on Instagram and TikTok. The black people are less represented and less shown and they get less viewers. And the white people have more viewers. Even can be black people, like watching white people instead of watching black people because we can't find the accounts. They don't show up in the top 10. They're like, scroll down a lot. And most times you just wanna click on something quickly to like watch or to see.


So going off what she said, I just thought, well, on YouTube, you, all the YouTubers, they have a designated audience, and most of them is going to be to American people. Like, they won't have any influence on any other country. But for example, I know one YouTuber, he's really big, and he has, his main channel is associated for Americans and English speakers, but he has six, seven other channels where he translates everything into the other languages so people can watch.


That's one thing that we should try to get out, because that way we'll get more ground on not just the big YouTubers, everybody else, all the black, all the Cuban, all the... Any race, any type of person will get more if they expand, but that's the problem. People don't really have an option to do it.


If you have a contact creator or a question you follow that isn't considered white or isn't what most people would want to watch, post it on your story or something. Oh, show a friend, hey, they look like us and they're creating content that we would like to see. So just tell a friend. They might just keep going on and they might gain followers. It would just become really big as well. Do you guys want to put together a list of people you follow? Yeah.


I love you. So I wanted to add on to that question about social norms and how it affects your perception as a teenager. And first off, I want to preface by saying that we're like the most insecure, biggest followers. We see something, we have to be that way. And we're just so insecure. We're less insecure of ourselves than any other people in the world. And I think that...


Some of the norms of social media is the mass consumerism and having to show that you have money. It's a way that you have to kind of assimilate by buying the most expensive clothing and stuff and the big brands. And that's just something that I see and I notice on social media more.


So an example, I'm going to say, of getting outward.


I still manage to post on my Snapchat story just the basic flyer and that is opening everybody's eyes that are either viewing my stuff or viewing my school stuff. They're seeing that flyer go around and hopefully they will look at it, search up what our kids at least or they might even join the Google meet and listen into our stuff. So we just need to try to push out our info, our arching.


Tell your friends about ARC. Oh, ARC is Anti-Racism Commitment Coalition. I get them confused sometimes. So you can join at ARCC. So join. Join. Join.org? org. I get it, because I don't know what it means. Join ARCC.org. Yes. And if it's hard to search up, because I'm not going to lie, sometimes.


Yeah, and you search anti-racism commitment coalition just completely spilled out and it's probably easier to find. And you can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and personally you can find my info on Facebook just because it's so...


And we're following them.


So if you look at our following on any social media platform in Lookup AR, you should find it there. This will be easier to find out stuff. And we're also very receptive. So if you have anything you want to add, if you want to send in something about yourself, something you want to discuss, we're open to that. And we're not afraid to say anything. Like, not afraid, but if you don't feel comfortable,


in the Google Meetings. You can DM us or talk to us in person, message us, anything you guys, like any topics for the next meeting or anything we're able to say during one of the meets, you can meet with us and we'd like to talk with you again. Anything you want to say or hear from either one of us or just on social media.


Thanks for being with us.


Just a last thing, I have a question for Amy. We were talking about this right here. So how do we, because our nation, I said our island is the best for the public, and I keep calling you Dominican. I don't want to set back. I keep calling you Dominican when we were kids. Yeah, I mean, literally. Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry.


If it was like her and Frank, if it was like a foreign exchange student and they have came over to the republic and they have told me that they were black, how do I not try to argue with them? How do I inform them politely on why I should say to them when she says something like that to me? And she looks exactly like me, sitting there, whatever.


explain this between ethnicity and race. Because I feel like people get them both confused. Race is like your color, and then ethnicity is where you're from, and where you're like lineage, and where you're like mom and your dad is from. So I can be Cuban, but I can also be black, because black is my race, but my ethnicity is Cuban. So those are two very different things. And another thing is, if you look like us, and you are of color, and you see your white, and you stand next to Derek, and you are not like,


Derek's color, I am sorry to inform you, but you're not white. So I feel like either you inform them, like, kind of like, sometimes tough love is needed, so you educate them, but if you can't, you like, kind of show, I feel like, that, visuals, that they are not. And like, that's also like a big thing about being black is not considered the ideal, so I'm pretty sure that's where that comes from, not wanting to be black because...


White is what everyone else wants to be and needs to be. So I feel like informing them that black is okay to be, educating them the difference between race, ethnicity, and then, you know, visuals. If you're black, make it your own school. Yeah, you can be like this. Okay, well I'm black and I'm proud of it.


You don't want to be the ideal, make yourself the ideal. Yeah, if they go, I'm not black, I'm doing it again. It's like, oh yeah, well I'm black, and I'm probably it. So just kind of showing them that you're OK with who you are will help them be OK. And be patient, because some people just can't understand. It's not really their fault. It's not their fault. It's just hard, and sometimes it'll slip out. Just be patient, unless they're doing it on purpose. Either educate them, and if they don't understand, walk away. Yeah, you don't have to try.


We have a strong thought in our head, most of the time you're not going to change it. As a girl, you don't want to be around super misogynist other girls who make you feel bad about being a girl. One thing I learned from work, if someone says something bad to them, act like you didn't hear it and make them repeat it because they'll think about it and be able to say it. I do that at work all the time and it is the best thing ever.


think about it and if they say it again, just don't be with them and if not, we'll say it in a nicer way or we won't say it all.


Thank you.


So... Justin, you're a sucker. So again, our website is join, J-O-I-N, A-R-T-C dot org.


and certainly motivated me to keep doing what we're doing. So I just hope that all of you, you and you too, and all of you that are on, I hope that you also recognize some of the difference you can make, by continuing to be the…


best you can be and make something of yourself because each of you has stardom in your genes. I can feel it, I can see it. And when people look like you, see you in 10 years, they'll be proud of themselves and say I can be Derek, I can be Ileani, I can be Justin, I can be Yuma. That's what I would love for you guys to do. Believe in yourselves because you are awesome.


I'm telling people, people texting me saying that these kids are incredible. So please keep doing what you're doing and be the role model that these young people younger than you need to have. Thank you.


They're really good. In one episode, he raps. You know what I mean? Like that?


I'm from the website and I'm going to make a vlog about this. And I recently made a vlog about racism in sports. And then it fell into the series. Would you like to read a little bit about someone my age?