In a recent interview with literary publication Paradoxa , Junot Diaz talked about migrating to the United States as a kid and his experience of race while he’s been here. Here are some highlights.
When as a young person you lose all your bearings, all your reference points, when the gap between where you were and where you are is as vast as the one that yawned between the DR and the US, you’re going to struggle mightily to explain not only what happened but also to explain oneself. I came to the US at six and with a single flight I jumped literally from one world to another, from one Age to another.
Racism and race are still being viewed as our problem and not the problem of the white mainstream that so benefits from white supremacy’s malign racial hierarchies. We live in a society where default whiteness goes unremarked–no one ever asks it for its passport–but God forbid a person of color should raise her voice against this smug occult system of oppression, points out whiteness, its operations and consequences–well, in two seconds flat that person is the one accused of being obsessed with race.
Unfortunetly, the publication isn’t available online, but you can order the latest issue on the Paradoxa website.