I took some time after Hispanic Heritage Month … only to run into National Adoption Awareness Month and National Native American Heritage Month in November! I’m actually quite chill with it all, and so was completely at peace taking my time to write this final piece introducing the series.
For me, it is a labor of love, and it would be an insult to let any further words be inked, digitally or otherwise, by any emotion other than love. After all, this work is a product of the love, kindness, and compassion others have shown me; and I am now able to return to them.
How could I not be proud of myself ..?
Watching the United States start ripping itself apart … while Latinidad straddles the fence …
Since the first piece introducing this series, the Pew Research Center reminded us that water, according to science at least, continues to be wet; with an academically un-ignorable 62 percent of respondents saying that having darker skin color hurts Latinx “ability to get ahead.”
Fifty-nine percent say that having lighter skin helps Latinx “ability to get ahead.”
AND FIFTY-SEVEN PERCENT say that skin color shapes their daily experiences.
Though only 48 percent of the Latinx respondents consider this to be a BIG problem … *collective sigh of relief* thank f*ck it wasn’t the majority of respondents!
While, personally, this all pales in comparison to what is also being done within my own circle; within the community that is working to bring you these upcoming pieces … while in the name of transparency, and education, I’m going to introduce by explaining a bit about the process of creation taken to present them.
To be honest, I’m merely picking up pieces from past travels and putting them to use … while paying them sufficiently for their time. This blessing came with struggles as well; though on these paths, others were met, who have stories, I think, we are better off for having heard. Regardless of appearance, or labels … merely as another voice with something to say to us all.
And me … well, I get to be the person who makes it all possible. I get to sleuth out the next writer, the next story … I get to look to my partners in this work, and function off of their insights, perspectives and opinions. In so doing, I am able to create a work environment built, not just on equality and respect, but on learning and growing; because that includes making mistakes.
Earlier in this series, we had the potential for an incredibly grievous mistake … though due to our patience, not only were we able to catch this error before any infection took place. We were able to help heal the heart and hands which committed this error. All while providing an example of patience, compassion and caring within the community.
All submissions are first sent to our primary reader and Spanish-language editor Paula. She decides if a submission will move forward; and if so, follows up with the author to prepare the article for publication in Spanish. (If the article doesn’t move forward, then I’ll usually work with the writer to develop their ideas.)
Once the article is complete, with any additional media, it goes off to our translator, Ramon. Actually a Venezuelan immigrant, Ramon is amazingly fluent in English, and so provides the initial translation and analysis, making corrections and improvements as necessary. Where possible, Paula finds articles in English to complement any sources cited in the Spanish text.
The last round is my own reading of the article, processing any and all notes Ramon or Paula have left on the English version; and discussing any translation questions we have. In this way, we are able to use this process, not just as a way to uplift the voices of our fellow compadres y comadres … not just to redistribute needed funds … but also to learn, practice, and hone, useful and marketable skills.
Envy is at the core of why most Latinos treat me as they do; whether it’s the young woman who needed to talk to a “real beaner” or the white apologists who insist on calling me white. Envy is at the center of colonialism, imo … never being satisfied with one’s self, always comparing to others … unable to be thankful … always wanting more …
And I get it, I do. If I were broken, I’d be sorry …
Instead, I see myself as one of few people able to do this work; to walk the line of inverting capitalism and colonialism’s own technologies and resources against its advancement. Of being able to bring this access, and opportunity to those who otherwise might not even have thought to dream of such a possibility. Being able to help facilitate a cross-pollination of stories …
Be it a woman writing from a jail cell, or a man reflecting on when the military invaded his childhood home … an individual exploring why public art and resistance … or recounting memories of a childhood growing up under a socialist regime …
These are not my stories to tell, they are not my stories to contextualize beyond perhaps letting you know how I came to cross paths with the author’s … these stories are our opportunity to remember the vast and varied land from which our own stories arise.
And so … without any further adieu … I present to you … #NotasDeCasa.
Canin Carlos (Culture Clap) is an artist, entrepreneur and educator. His book of poetry is called White Like Me, The Incoherent Ramblings of an Unmedicated Adolescent. He also has a code ebook called Rebel Coding. You can find him on your favorite social media platform as Culture Clap.