No, I’m Not Spanish, and Neither Are You.

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For the last time, New England, the absolute last fucking time: I am not Spanish. Bilingualism notwithstanding, hair notwithstanding, stop pigeonholing me and policing my identity. When I tell you I’m Black, be as offended as you need to be; because I’m unapologetically, unequivocally Black, like most Dominicans and Cape Verdeans, even though many of them don’t want to admit it. Stop measuring me against white America’s idea of what it means to be indigenous, because the image you’re working with is a vestige of colonialism and, at that, grossly inaccurate. Despite what the history books say, we here after the wars waged to kill us off; we were here before the casinos. I picked up Spanish in school, and like many Black and Native folks of this land whitepeople named New England, I am multilingual and multicultural, but always, a defender of my heritage. Stop asking and start decolonizing, because the answer isn’t going to change. I’m Black, I’m Native, I’m smart, and I’m here.

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