‘The other’

“N*ggers are stupid, they gotta study real hard, don’t they?”

I wish I could ask Melba Pattillo, one of the Little Rock Nine––a group of students that desegregated the first high school in the US south––about this moment. She was in the cafeteria, reading Gandhi, when a white boy began questioning her intellect. As I transition into the real world, understanding Pattillo’s ability to stand her ground is essential in developing my ability to navigate similar situations. If I want to sleep at night, I have to understand the concept behind ‘the other’ which is currently under attack. This type of discrimination has been spreading like wildfire across the world in places like Brazil, the US, and the UK. 

Why is ‘the other’ created? Is the minority ‘the other’, or is a shift in minorities becoming majorities, such as the rise of Hispanics in the US, creating ‘the other’? I am compelled to figure out the economic, cultural, and social phenomenon alongside Pattillo. I want her opinion on how economic discrimination has changed from her day. From what I can see, economics in her day was used as a divide between the positions whites and blacks could hold, creating a divide between the economically advantaged and disadvantaged. I need her opinion on how to move forward nowadays, where economic discrimination and surges in nationalism are about discrimination against immigrants. How can I find my way through this wildfire? 

Foreign policy as per my Washington DC Uber driver upon finding out I grew up in Chile: “You’re getting deported.”


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