White passing


I am a very privileged person.  I have never experienced weird looks walking down the streets, I have never been yelled at to speak English, I have never been told to get out of the country and I have never been told that I steal people’s jobs.  I especially have never experienced hate based of the color of my skin.  All my privileges are based around the fact that I am white passing.

I am very lucky to have the last name Moralez. To me, it represents a line of hard working people that have fought to get everything that they had.  I think of all the strong women that have the same last name as me and how they don’t let anyone under estimate them.  When I hear “Moralez”, I think of that sacrifices my parents gave, and the sacrifices my grandparents gave.  To me, “Moralez” is so much more than our Hispanic origin, so why is that all that people focus on when they hear it?

My grandfather came to the United States from Mexico when he was a young boy.  He was able to speak both English and Spanish and was often found translating for his parents.  However, being Mexican on the south side of Milwaukee wasn’t common then.  He was ruthlessly harassed for being bilingual.  It goes to show that even back then people had that mindset of when you’re in America you speak English.  Which is what he did, he just knew another language too.

When my grandfather got married and started having children, he told my grandmother that he didn’t want his children to learn Spanish.  He didn’t want his children to go through the bullying that he did when he was younger.  He had it engrained in him that if they were in this country they should only speak English.  So, it was essentially banned from the household.  There were still traditions and my father was still heavily raised in the Mexican culture, but the language was never there.  It is something that he still wishes to this day that he knew.

My grandfather has since passed away and Spanish is not spoken amongst the Moralez family.  A whole generation doesn’t know a language that was once used solely to communicate with one another.  A whole generation is now seeing the repercussions of not knowing a second language.