On the issue of feeling alone I have come to realize that I’m not the first one to feel this way in a primarily white institution, nor will I be the last.
We live in a time where everyone is scurrying to their people of color to figure out how to tackle issues of racism, self-hate, colorism, anti-semitism and any other things white people, here, don’t want to directly work on. As a result, they pawn on the few people of color that work in their institution. It’s happening to all of us and it will happen over, and over again until we become compassionate individuals.
When shit hits the fan, as in now during the Trump Era where DACA has ended, we (people of color, the brown one’s specifically), are forced to drop everything for anyone that is going through emotional distress, and left with a dump of emotions. I am then alone again figuring out how to approach the situation. Wouldn’t it be nice just to say, “its no my job” or “let our Diversity Director take care of it”, when it is those same people that come running to us when students reach out to them because they have no idea how to handle the situation. Its a never ending cycle.
We instantly become tokenized and its something I never grew up knowing about until I went to college. This was mainly because I grew up in a predominantly Mexican neighborhood. In college I was the spokes person for my people and now as an administrator, I am again pigeonholed into a position I never wanted in the first place. Do I like seeing people not get help? No, but does that mean that we always have to be the ones reaching out and making sure our students of color are okay or that we have adequate programming for our students? I thought this would never happen but it keeps happening, time after time- with no compensation might I add.
I am caught between administration that is stuck in their ways, wants to help but becomes instantly paralyzed as soon as something is thrown their way. Then we have those students who want instant change and gratification, and end up throwing people under the bus; the wrong people. I am 1 of 5 Latina pillars on this campus, when will it be okay for me to reach out for help? Another day, but no dollar….
Its not normal to carry around everyone else’s baggage. Make sure to take care of you.
Shoutout to The Wellness Center Blog on Latino Mental Wellness