Sunday, February 8, 2009


I've thought a lot in the past year and a half about my identity. Specifically, I've tried to breakdown my identity and place my various characteristics on a point in a number of power struggles. For example, I've thought about what my whiteness means in the city, country, and world. I've thought about what my whiteness means in terms of my teaching kiddos that may not be white. I've considered how my whiteness will be something very different in Ecuador.

I've meditated of the same things with regard to my maleness, my heterosexuality, my middle classness, and lately, my Americanness. Americanness in the sense that a large part of my identity which, much like those aforementioned I didn't choose, plays a role in how I am received by those with whom I share Americanismo and those with whom I differ as well.

Just as with whiteness, there are small, seemingly insignificant areas of privilege that we must deconstruct. An example I think of is the band-aid example. I've never thought that the color of a band-aid is clearly an attempt to match what is informed by my being 'white.' Most people out there don't often receive bandaging which approximates their skin color. Seemingly insignificant, but worth a thought.

The other day, while starting a game of 'Wikipedia plinko,' which is the open-ended jumping from interesting article to interesting article, a kind of 6 degrees of kevin bacon experiment, I decided I wanted to know about the United States Senate. I had been listening to them drone on and on about Obama's stimulus package, and I damned the Senate. I wanted to know more about what I'd damned, to be fair.

In the search bar on Wikipedia, I typed in, naturally, "Senate," assuming I would be taken to a page that discussed the US Senate. As one can imagine, the page I was navigated to was a more general overview of the idea of a senate, little 's.' I wasn't surprised, as when it occurred, I thought of the expansiveness and the history of the term. This, however, is a sign that I've yet to fully deconstruct my Americanismo, my Americanness.

Soon, my friends. Pronto, indeed.

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