By Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez @priscadorcas
I was home, the day after the election. I ran away, essentially. I ran away from whiteness and straight into my mami’s arms, my papi's smiles, and my sister's kindness. I was hurting from the election, and I found myself in a bubble back home. My sister and I went out to dinner alone one night and we talked about life, love, and laughed so much we cried. I was in her world, locked away from Donald Trump and the suffocating whiteness of Nashville. I enjoyed it and needed it but it was not real, not for me, not anymore. And I wondered...
I have a little sister who is a product of the same immigrant working poor context that I come from, but we are so different. We have different goals and different things make us come alive. We have different means of dealing with tension, and we are different in the ways that we express anger, sadness, happiness, and love.
I have a little sister whom I love so much. My little sister is not trying to dismantle oppressive systems and institutions. My little sister is not trying to confront racism through whatever means necessary. My little sister is not living in fear due to the election of Trump. And it is not because she doesn’t experience oppression through the specific intersections of racism and sexism, she just has this internal need to remain positive. She has that personality that makes her the perfect kindergarten teacher. She loves unconditionally and wants people to feel loved and needed. Her role in life is different than my role, her personality for creating impact in this world is by affecting change through touching the lives of little 5-year-old minds.
I have a little sister whom I love so much because she has taught me so much about forgiveness and accepting people where they are at…I have a little sister who cares to a fault about how people feel and how they are treated. She has the type of friends that many people would not call friends because they are confused and oftentimes hurtful people, but she opts to see the good in them. She tries often to love them into kindness because that IS who she is.
I have a little sister who finds herself unable to name her discomfort in things because it feels like sexism but she also feels so much love for those people who are projecting violent oppressive actions toward her brown immigrant female body. She comes to me with tears in her eyes and tells me stories of things that happen around her, and I try to name those things that are happening to her. I tell her: “that’s racism.” But I also know that she cannot reject and outright hate people for those things that she herself is discovering to be unfair and inhumane. She tells me that she gets called “exotic” at her job as one of maybe 2 Latinas, and I give a glare because I know what those people are saying to her, about her, about US, and I want her to get angry but living this angry and living this intensely is hard. Living this aware and this upset hurts and some days I wish I could be more like my little sister. Some days I wish I could forgive people for stripping me of my humanity, some days I wish I could heal my soul enough to function in spaces where I no longer fear whiteness and white supremacy.
I have a little sister who is younger than I was when I began to formulate my thoughts around sexism, racism, classism, ableism, xenophobia, and the list goes on. At her age, I was content and living in the bubble my parents had intentionally provided for me. The bubble they clearly knew was a lie but they created to protect us from all those ills they knew would come for our hearts, bodies, and minds.
For me, leaving home and moving to a primarily white and Red state meant that I got the quickest and swiftest reality. I love what I do and I am thankful that my eyes have been opened enough to be able to resist and exist because of my resistance, but I have a little sister who has that weird luxury of still being in that bubble and I try to help her and give her the tools but I also know that once you’ve heard your chains rattling unhearing them is not an option. I do not know how to be that kind and be this aware, I know how to retreat and become kind with people I trust, but my awareness has come with a certain level of toughness.
I want to live in a world where a brown girl can be carefree and enjoy her life and her things. No oppressed person wishes to be oppressed, let’s not romanticize the struggle: it is hard and life sucking. But we do this hard work so that future generations won’t have to, and maybe this utopia does not exist, but for my little sister it sort-of does because the veil has not been lifted from her eyes. Long-term change takes time and commitment, and my little sister keeps me motivated. For now, I write for her, and when she texts me telling me someone has been viciously sexist to her, the first thing I want to do is show up to that person’s home and hurt them like they hurt her. But since I cannot do that to every person who has acquiesced to whiteness, colonialism, and imperialism, I do this work. I write and I critique social ills. I confront icky situations for her, head first because I would do anything to protect her and keep her kind and gentle.
Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez is a chonga Mujerista from Managua, Nicaragua currently living in Miami, FL. She recently graduated with her Masters from Vanderbilt University and is looking to take some much needed time off to refresh. She is also the founder of Latina Rebels, a blogger for HuffPo Latino Voices, and a columnist/editor at Chica Magazine. Her interests are within biopolitics as it relates to Latina embodiment, specifically concerning models of conquerable flesh around narratives of naturalization for women of color. Thus her work is around reclaiming and upholding embodied resistance, particularly within chonga and chola subcultures. Que viva la mujer!