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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Louise

Creative Writing Class: "Foreigner"

There are different implications of being a black foreigner, just as there are implications of being a black citizen. Traveling While Black is a handbook, a necessary guide. There are different implications of being a spec of color among white than there are for being a spec of white among color. White is money. Money is belonging. All else is other. Black people are othered at home. Just as they are more readily othered abroad. I don’t know if I can ever feel like a carefree backpacker, traveling with my European skin and hair, making me feel invincible. Don’t have enough money? That’s alright, your status elevates you. You are the emblem of beauty, of power, of success. The world assimilates itself to your highlights, your eye color, your languages so you can feel at home anywhere. There is a pocket, a space for you everywhere. Like Bong Joon Ho said, we all live in the same country--which is capitalism. We all live in the same country--it has the counties sexism, patriarchy, racism, colorism, misogyny, classism, ableism, transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia. These are the counties that we exist in everywhere. At home and abroad. So there is no rest, no home for the other. Only a foreignness--one that is not trendy. One that is confusing, displacing, anxiety-inducing, neurosis-spawning, internal-crises-creating. An identity of discomfort. Of pretending not to be watched while all eyes stare at you. While others draw nearer or retreat further to inspect or to shun. Subaltern. Unspeakable. Impossible association on the basis of appearance. Now some of us can handle it better than others. Some of us can pass through a crowd with a song and dance riveting enough to make those of The Similitude lenient. Some of us have convincing code-switches and a masala mestiza of genes. But we all carry our true passports in our hearts and there comes a time--sooner or later--when the papers are demanded of us. Where are you from, really from? Why do you or don’t you speak or behave the way I am used to someone of your appearance speaking or behaving? Why are you here? The summation of their queries. Why are you here and not in your own corner of the world? Your own home that our gentrification has passed over and allowed to persist, malignant, benign. Why would you venture outside of the confines of my understanding of you? A constant alienation. But for others, the chosen, privileged, historically dominant groups. To them the world says: Welcome. Please enjoy your stay. You are welcome here.


something I drafted with a creative writing prompt in mind

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