I finished reading/listening to the Outliers. It was a great book and I highly recommended. I wish I could have read it when I was the overachieving 17 year old instead of the overly ambitious 25 year old that I am right now. I still think you cant be to0 overly ambitious. Quite the contrary, the reflections from the book have confirmed to me that I need to honor my hard work and persistence. Its all I’ve got at the end of the day. I appreciated the stories about Gates speedy rise to success and the conclusion that it was really not about Gates genius but rather about the opportunities he took advantage of. The importance of culture was also discussed and its impact in our decision making. I thought about all my social justice training and not remembering if we ever talked openly about how internalized our oppression was. Did it influence our decision making? Whether we stood up to injustice or choose not to defy power cuz we were wired as young indigenous mexican women not to speak? Pues carajo! Its time to defy that oppression!
I also thought about Dreamers and the lack of opportunities. I think about all the dreamers I’ve met and think of them as the most resourceful and successful people that I know. I am angry about the systematic denial of opportunities and denial of the right to life. Gabe is graduating next week. A BA in International Criminal Justice. It beats my petty BA in English jaja. Would he have recognized or reflected on missed opportunities if it wasnt so explictly denied. I say this reflecting on my own peers-the citizen youth who drop out in rates higher than undocumented youth. Wouldnt we also fight if we knew so explicitly that our right to quality education was denied.
Citizen immigrant youth got lucky. They were born on this side of the border. Some of them picked up the language quickly. Others like my cousins didn’t. I was given an opportunity to challenge myself through gifted programs but that’s only cuz I scored high on stupid standardized tests. Otherwise I wouldnt say a peep because I didnt know better. I do not possess the skill of talking my way through things. I just don’t. Im picking up the skill but its challenging.
I guess this is where political education comes in. Political education mixed with reflection about our experiences with education. I still dont know when or where I picked it up or just got it. When did the lightbulb turn on and say aha! you got screwed. Maybe it was organizing when I realized Im not the only one who felt they got played. Or really its just a reflections of an outsider looking in.