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A few days ago I attended the first #boricuasonline event at the Centro for Puerto Rican studies at Hunter College. My buddy Julio Ricardo Varela was one of the speakers. Like me, Julio can talk, it is one of his many talents. As such we jokingly nicknamed the event “Julito and friends.”
Of course that’s just our silly humor coming across, Julio Ricardo Varela of Latino Rebels was joined by NuriaNet from Fusion, Lynn Ponder of WebcityGirls, online comedian Lejuan James, and last but not least the Urban Jibaro, George Torres of Sofrito for your soul.
All jokes aside, one of the items that was discussed throughout the evening was educating our non-Latino counterparts in the U.S on Latino culture. Many are ignorant to our traditions and customs, and it is our job to educate them.
Take for instance the motivation behind this post, this actually happened to me and celebrity makeup artist Karlo Karlo as we walked with a group to a restaurant.
Mind you, I am no stranger to ignorance. If you recall, I wrote that piece about Ben Carson and how he thought being gay was a choice. I have been exposed to ignorance on all levels at one point or another during my life. Be it from the racist rednecks I encountered when I was stationed in Sheppard Air Force Base, or the black guys who jumped me in the South Bronx for looking too white.
I have seen it from all sides, in every way, shape, or form, and I will surely continue to do so for the rest of my life. Ignorance will never die. In fact, on occasion I have been guilty of it myself.
So it came as no surprise when this young Caucasian lady stood right in front of us. She just stood there staring at me, Karlo thought that I knew her as I said “Hi there.” However I had never laid eyes on this woman before, I was just being cordial to the weird lady staring at me.
— Karlo Karlo (@KarloKarlo) May 13, 2015
That’s when she shifted her gaze to my buddy Karlo. She said hi, then complimented his glasses.
Your glasses are so awesome!
At this point we both realized that this woman was extremely intoxicated. Karlo said thank you and informed her that they were from Argentina. She frowned and said:
Oh man, I don’t speak any Spanish, I’ll never be able to get nice glasses like that!
Okay, of course you can’t get them, these are Spanish seeing glasses, they only work for Spanish speakers. Que boba!
If you know me, then you know that now it was time for some heavy sarcasm and mockery from my part.
You do know that you don’t need to speak Spanish to wear these glasses right? It’s not as if they are only Spanish eyeglasses! The lens work the same regardless of what language you speak!
The woman’s boyfriend looked at me, he was extremely embarrassed. He saw that her ignorance was shining bright as a firefly in a dark room. He grabbed her hand and attempted to pull her away from us and end this awkward conversation. However, she wasn’t having it, she continued to face us and stare awkwardly.
I like them so much but I don’t speak Spanish! I’m so upset, I wish I spoke Spanish.
I’m sure she meant no harm, but after coming out of an event where we spent quite a good deal of time talking about educating the masses on Latino issues, this was just way too humorous and downright silly to me.
Que bobita! That’s why this drunk, random white lady gets an EPIC FAIL from me!
Image credit KarloKarlo.com and Christian Conti.
Growing Up Bronx