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Thoughts of a Sheltered Minority

By: Amaya Serrano

Published for the 2023 Spring Magazine

1.           I forget the definition of culture shock although the

              words ricochet off my body and it brings me to the fact
2.           I am not in Florida.
2a.         I am in Ohio.
2b.         I miss the feel of sea salt and the smell of ludicrous crime.
             At least the Orlando Eye looked at everyone the same there.
1a.         Culture shock definition according to Merriam-Webster:
1b.         A sense of confusion and uncertainty sometimes with feelings of anxiety
             that may affect people exposed to an alien culture or
             environment without adequate preparation.
3.           I am a Mexican American in the United States.
4.           Background about my family:
4a.         My mother was born and raised in the dirt in my Great Grandmother’s front yard.
             Fruit grows from her name and she roots
             my sisters into the ground. The never-ending rain overflows and
             our family makes angels in the puddles. And then there was my father,
            on the opposite side of the coast. Although born in Mexico, he found the American
            street lights and they led him to a new home.
4b.        The archives on my father are short and brief. Most information
            is unknown except he passed in a gruesome car accident.
3a.        I am a Mexican American in the United States with a bloodline I can no longer trace.
5.          The difference between Florida and Ohio:
5a.        I never had to prepare myself for anyone,
            I never had to face the consequences of being myself.
5b.        In Florida people see it as Florida and the people there are
            a part of Florida, making them a Floridian, and even if you are not a part of Florida,
            it does not matter, Florida is Florida, and people are still people.
6.          I am a microaggression, aggression, to you and your family,
            to the state of Ohio, and the bones buried underneath it.
            It took me a while to learn this.
6a.       This doesn’t mean everyone.
           Yet, when I touch the edge of Columbus I can feel
           my size shrink, and suddenly I am speechless,
           the old habits of my ancestors trying to survive
           come back to me, hoping I live.
7.         Microaggression definition according to
7a.       A subtle but offensive comment or action directed at a member of a marginalized group,
           especially a racial minority, that is unintentionally offensive or

            unconsciously reinforces
           a stereotype.
3b.       I am a Mexican American that has been taught that certain microaggressions are okay.
8.         Microaggressions are not okay, in fact, they are not real.
8a.       A microaggression is still an act of exclusionary behavior,
           it still hurts, intentional or not. Why are my feelings the cost
           of your ignorance?
9.         I am Mexican and an American.

Return to the 2023 Spring Magazine

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