As the Token White Girl in my school, I was made an example of during assembly this morning. As you should know, January 15th is the day that the United States celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's birthday. Well, Veronica was explaining about what MLK did in the US and how he spurred a lot of change that happened some 50 years ago. You all know the story, but these kids don't. She apologized as she brought me up front saying, "I'm sorry, but I need them to understand that they are not white. You are white. Growing up here is different, because there is less diversity. They think they're white." Of course, it doesn't matter if these kids are white, brown or purple, but for the sake of the explanation, they did need to understand that they too would have been sitting in the back of the bus and going to separate restaurants and movie theaters. As I was standing up there in front of the school, I realized that I really was the only "white girl" in the school. All of the students are Honduran, at least as far as I know. All of the teachers, except me (now that Mr. Anthony left) are Honduran too. Well, Chanel is from the US, but both of her parents are from the Bay Islands (so they're lighter skinned, but still Honduran), and she looks, well, like she is too.
Therefore, I, single-handedly, represent the US. It is assumed that I have a lot of money. It is assumed that my family can afford to fly me back and forth to the States. It is assumed that will want to buy the expensive jewelry the girl who stops in after school is selling. A lot of things are assumed.
But not by everyone. I think I probably make it sound like all of the teachers are mean to me. Let me get this straight. None of them are mean to me. However, that does not mean that they all like me. And honestly, the couple of teachers that I think don't like me - well, it doesn't really have anything to do with me. It has everything to do with the fact that I represent the US. I represent change. And I represent them losing their jobs. I did not take their job, and I might be gone by the time they lose it, but in their minds - I represent the change that will eventually cost them their teaching positions in this school. (Because they don't speak English).
I am actually quite friendly with most of the Honduran teachers at the school. I thought that the Estudios Sociales teacher and I would end up being friends, but with all the rumors that were flying through the school last month and all the warnings from other teachers, and the principal, and Veronica not to get too friendly and comfortable with them (because I'll tell them things that they will use against me later) - well, I decided to not pursue any of that, and she hasn't been too forthcoming since either. But yeah, I'm the Token White Girl. Never thought that would happen.