It’s so hard to say goodbye to “Being Mary Jane” there go my Tuesday nights, and one of the best Latina characters on television. Here are the top ten reasons why Kara was my girl and arguably the most authentic portrayal of a Latina that I’ve seen on television, ever:
She told a Latino “I don’t really date Latinos” [Come on, we all know someone like this, maybe you are that someone]
She turned a really hot professional baseball player down (and then got back with him)
She was assertive about managing her career and she didn’t apologize for it
She didn’t have to break into a “signature” Spanish phrase every time she really needed to express herself [I really hate when they do that to us, can you say stereotype]
She actually tried to balance career and family and struggled with it, because she loved both
She loved her job
She wasn’t waiting for Mr. Right [Like every good Latina]
She never forgot her parents
She wasn’t the perfect mom but she kept trying
She always had Mary Jane’s back [think Thelma and Louise or Lucy and Ethel]
Last night, I dreamt that I was waiting on line with friends and there were three girls behind us (white girls). We all started talking to each other but one of the girls from the other group kept making horribly racist comments– something about foreigners smelling bad etc., bear with me, dream interpretation is really big in my family.
Her friends were super embarrassed by her remarks but didn’t say anything. I was becoming increasingly agitated and finally I turned to my friend and said, “let’s go”.
It’s just a dream, no big deal right, except that it got me to thinking about silence in the face of racism and prejudice. We all do it. It is so easy to point out the faults of others but so difficult to see the ugliness within our own circles. How many of us stand up to our friends and family members when they say something that we wholeheartedly believe is wrong?
Isn’t it infinitely easier to stay quiet, make light of the remarks, or just gently change the conversation. I know I’ve done it. Silence is not always golden, in fact, it can be deadly, the first victim– your integrity.