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this thing kobish to have like chips in my teeth it’s just I gotta be stressed snacking for this one oh my well chickpeas just really get stuck in your throat yeah almost like this conversation this week has been emotionally exhausting I am one of those people who have refused to be fed the spoon of that is I am inferior because of my race I have heard that but I haven’t let it affect me at least I didn’t think so until this week but it’s unfortunate that it takes another innocent black life to be taken for the world to notice that there’s a big problem and this isn’t the first time we’ve noticed that there’s a big problem this is the first time though it seems like everybody is starting to Google am i racist how to learn about black culture racial inequalities and while I’m heartbroken that it’s taken so many centuries of injustice and pain to get to this point I’m actually very happy that we’re finally at a point where people are seeking out educational resources and are having these tough conversations and then it made me think about what my dynamic and my internal dialogue with race and my own identity is and the truth is a lot of my life I’ve been the only person of color in rooms filled with white people and the more important the rooms got the whiter the rooms got and I was raised to know my mom always told me you’re a woman you’re a woman of color and you’re an immigrant so you’re gonna need to work four times as hard to be better than everyone else now being born a woman of color I didn’t choose but the immigrant thing I guess I guess I didn’t choose either because I was only five when we moved but in my life I accepted the extra struggles that I had because we chose to move to the States so if we chose to move to the States I had to accept the troubles that came with being an immigrant having to do things that other kids didn’t have to do like clean houses and go to work with my mom and be the little black kid that was the daughter of the maid I accepted those things and I in turn like turn that into fuel for why I am such a hard worker and why I do outlast many people with endurance it’s because I’ve always had to work but to me it wasn’t because I was put in that position it’s because we chose to come here we chose to emigrate so my perspective on and on race and on inequality has always been it’s okay if I mistreated because we chose to come here or we chose to have this life and that just kind of made me realize like how many things have I accepted in my life because I feel like I chose it it’s almost like when a man forces himself on a woman because she was wearing a small dress it’s like so by wearing a dress did I ask to be mistreated so by being an immigrant woman of color that I asked to be mistreated just food for thought and I’m rambling because these are just truly my thoughts how I feel about race I’m getting it out there and maybe you really maybe you don’t relate but this is just my experience for most of my life I truly believe that if I worked really really hard people wouldn’t notice or judge me on the color of my skin but would consider me an intellectual a hard worker a smart businesswoman a leader and I truly believe that and I still believe that in fact in my years of posting videos online for almost a decade I’ve only made one video about being a black woman while traveling and I did that on purpose because I didn’t want to be known for being that black woman who traveled I wanted to be known for being a cultural anthropologist who traveled all over the world with her without a business partner but up until this week I hadn’t really stopped and thought about all of the messed-up things that I’ve gone through that I’ve shoved in a tiny box and put away because I didn’t see those things as productive like the time that I was about to film in Austin Texas and I was gonna learn line dancing in this country bar and this bar is famous in Austin and the woman leads that has owned it all her life and right before I go on with my white counterpart Damon we were waiting for them to get miked up the woman who was gonna teach us line dancing and the woman is talking to the sheriff and is saying you know I’m gonna teach these people to dance and the sheriff says you about to teach this nigger how to dance and I was standing right behind them and I heard it and I looked at Damon and I’m like did you just hear that and what did I have to do I had to pretend like I didn’t hear it swallow my tears and go on camera to finish the scene acting like I supported this establishment that’s my bad that’s my bad Who am I to say stop production we’re not filming here these people are racist so that is another piece of my puzzle that I’m understanding like wow I am a part of this problem because I didn’t speak up I didn’t speak up and it’s unfair that I even have to speak up and I have to educate people but this is the kind of thing that I want to let you know I’ve

gone through these are my experiences I can’t speak on behalf of anybody else but having gone through experiences like that makes you realize like if that’s how I’m getting treated imagine how other black people are getting treated I’ll never forget another time I was working on this big set big company was sponsoring this video and again it’s me and my white counterpart Damon and where the town of the show and the scenes were divided up the days that we got to set get wardrobe and the wardrobe stylist tells you what scenes you’re gonna be needing to get dressed for it that morning the wardrobe stylist happens to tell me that I am going to be cleaning a room and Damon is going to be strolling the park now this video project was to promote language learning so why did I need to be the one cleaning and Damon needed to be the one walking in the park confused me so I asked I’m like hey is there a reason why they gave me the cleaning scene meanwhile I had already been a cleaning lady so part of me was like I could kill that scene I know how to do that which again is me enabling this idea that if you see an afro Latina woman the only way you’ll see her on camera is she’s holding a broom so what happens I get assigned the scene I get dressed for the for the role of being the woman cleaning the house and they say dance Joe dance to salsa music years of broom they literally gave me a broom and a straw hat and I murdered it I killed it I danced my ass off but after I finished the scene I approached the client I’m like hey normally we wouldn’t say anything because I don’t want to come off as a diva talent but was it funny to you was it a problem to you that the only black afro Latina woman on set happened to be the one holding the broom I just couldn’t get that out of my mind and me speaking up about it made him feel so embarrassed and it’s so much so we ended up cutting that scene all together we cut the scene from the video and both of us he happened to be a bi-racial person so he knows what it is to have black blood in his system we both prided ourselves on being aware of calling things out and yeah both of us let this happen and it was almost about to go on the air until we both said hold up is there a problem yes there is and that was a big lesson in me understanding to to pick up on these subtleties if it’s a white director of white greater white producers and you are the only black person in a room you can’t expect these people to understand how to portray you so in many regards we need to be the educators without wanting to be we need to be the educators to educate people how to treat us how to portray us and say there’s a little black girl watching this video she’s gonna think the only thing she could do on camera is be a cleaning lady whereas if you’re a white guy you can be strolling the park this happened last year okay this is not something that happened 20 years ago this happened last year this is just like another example that kind of came up this week as I was thinking to myself like you know even though I pride myself on working and not letting race to find me so my stuff stuff has happen in my life wow I haven’t even talked about this and a lot of my wife friends have no idea that these things happen to me because I don’t act like they affect me because I don’t put myself in the box of a victim but the truth is yes I’m treated differently yes I strive to work my ass off so I can elevate our name and yeah my life in the rooms filled with white people is a protest it is it’s me saying I have an opinion this is my perspective this is my experience and we need to talk about this because I can’t conform and mold myself into this white version you want me to be I can’t straighten my hair so that I don’t give you discomfort looking at my big curls I can’t wear tight clothes and speak all proper I’m gonna speak the way I need to speak I’m gonna talk about the experiences that I’ve had my hair is gonna be as big as my personality it took me a long time to realize that much of my life has been trying to fit into the white mold of success of beauty of being an individual meanwhile right now I’m understanding I’m from a collectivist culture I’m very much a togetherness person my skin colour is nothing that I can hide so instead of avoiding talking about it I need to not only talk about it educate people on it but embrace the differences I travel because I truly believe that if we travel the world as people who look completely different from one another the more we travel the more we will educate other people about us not saying just people of color and saying people in general and so if you have a German that goes to Uganda if you have somebody from Kenya who goes to France if you have somebody from France who goes to Mexico these are all moments that will change anybody that comes in contact with the person that they’ve never met so in my opinion I travel to learn and part of me is aware that a lot of places that I go I’m the first representative whether I like it or not to be a person of color a woman solo traveler a polyglot who speaks all these languages an immigrant a Brazilian I carry all of those badges with me whether I like it or not I’ve always looked at that as an opportunity to show people that might have had preconceived notions of people of color of black people of women traveling alone hey this is me I’m a pretty dope person I’m so excited to know about your culture can you teach me

something and in doing that I felt like I was doing a service to the world to be more open-minded yeah I spoke to my siblings about this conversation and they have different perspectives of me because they haven’t left the Connecticut bubble that we grew up in whereas I’ve traveled all over the world and so I’ve seen firsthand that race is a problem in a lot of people’s minds that I will be followed in a hmm in Poland because I’m black until my white friend comes over and vouches for me that I will be told to wipe the black off my skin and Egypt at a dinner table as a joke these things have happened to me they haven’t happened to my siblings and so even thinking about the exposure to this the the exposure changes the level of which one can understand race and racial issues he realizing that I had been shoving all these racist things that I’ve lived in a tiny box exploded the other day I like basically had a panic attack because I’m like boo I’ve been acting like nothing’s been wrong and there has been stuff that’s been hung boom and strength is usually built on bricks of pain and that’s what I can say about my experience and not just about race about just like pain in general I just feel like we all need to do better people of color we need to learn about other people of clarity to uplift each other white people it’s really important that you educate yourself on people of color and race and understand your privilege and your whiteness and even mean like I have privilege in my lack of privilege and so I can’t see here and say like you guys are privileged now no I understand that I’ve had privileges that I have grown up in in a predominantly white neighborhood that I’ve gotten access to education that a lot of people who were born where I was born wouldnt of God all of the things that put me in a position where I feel uncomfortable have made me empathetic to those who are uncomfortable and I think that in order to advance this conversation empathy is needed and empathy can come from being put in a place of discomfort so to all of my white friends asking what can they do right now I encourage you to have uncomfortable conversation with your white friends with your white family and ask them about the conversation of black people in America so the lifetime of discomfort that people of color deal with is nothing in comparison to five minutes of a uncomfortable moment if you have to speak up and say hey there’s a problem how are we gonna address this this has already happened before where I kept being put as last priority in a group of white people those two white people in me and for whatever reason even though we all had the same job I was kept at last priority which means that when it was time for my part they would cut it and my white counterpart she was in a room with the other people that were part of this project and she was like hey did you get her scene yeah and they were like no not yet and even something as simple as being an ally and speaking up when I’m not in the room when we’re not in the room to say like hey did you guys notice that we’re treating this person differently that is all that we want we want to know that when we’re not in the room you’re thinking about how to make things fair whether you’re talking about black people Latin X people Asian people at GQ people like we need allies because if we’re not in the room then the conversation is gonna keep going without us we have no idea what’s going on behind closed doors if you’re in a room and there are only white people and you’re a white person that’s a problem and it’s up to you to say hey why is there nobody that looks different here another really powerful thing you can do is to take inventory of what you’re consuming are you only consuming content by white creators by white authors what I want to tell you is that this is a journey this is a multi-sided journey I am on this journey on my own if you are a white friend of mine if you are an ally you are on this journey with me and with yourselves Aloha as the video progresses my hair keeps getting bigger and bigger it’s like I’ll be talking about black things all right we don’t show you what black is another thing that I would recommend everybody do is look at your friend group what do those people look like they say that you are some of the five people closest to you if the five people who are closest to you look exactly the same there is a problem I’m not saying that you should cut off friends but I’m saying you should open up your friend group to contain people from different walks of life because you will in turn learn things that you would have never learned what I think has been so beautiful about this time is that a lot of my friends have been asking like hey Jo how do you feel about this and in speaking about these different perspectives in asking each other one was the first time you learned about race did your parents talk to you about race we start understanding why they is a difference on a very personal level racism is not going to be solved overnight but if we can take it upon ourselves to make it clear on a person-to-person level that we are trying to do better we are going further than we’ve ever gone before I ran a poll in my Instagram and almost 90% of people of color were told that their race was a a parent be a problem and see something that they needed to worry about and at a very young age whereas white people that responded said that it took years before they even thought about their own race because they were never talked about it a huge problem in this conversation is that people of color are taught that they need to watch out they need to worry they need to do X Y & Z to go under the radar and not be heard whereas the white kid is not being told anything

about race at all there’s an ignorance in the household because they feel like it’s not a conversation that applies to them Jay Elliot recommends that everybody reads about the myth of race which is a book that essentially debunks the idea that race has genetic and biological differences therefore stating that race is completely a social construct that man created to justify horribly treating other people it is not because one race is physically superior genetically superior than the other race was socially created to oppress people that were not white and this is just the way the cookie crumbles and when you understand that you get a better idea of how much of this whole thing is a huge problem of this conversation is that black people and minorities and people of color are expected to be the knowledge holders of this entire way of centuries worth of racism and that is the furthest thing from the truth yes right now the national dialogue and the global dialogue is about black people and mistreatment of black people in the in Justices but this is a lesson that speaks to all of humans we are humans and we need to do better as humans and uplift each other as humans can’t we talk about the fact that we don’t get to choose who were born as we don’t get to choose where we’re born I used to always find it so ridiculous that so much of our life experience is shaped based on a racial and ethnic lottery this is all lottery fact that we were born at all is a lottery and whatever you’re born with shouldn’t shape your entire experience on this earth because you didn’t get to choose it if you’re an ally you’re essentially a converter from the problem to the solution because the only way we’ll solve it is if everybody across the board is on the same page and understanding how absurd it is and how unfair it is to treat somebody cruelly differently unfairly just to treat somebody differently based on the color of their skin I just hope that we’re open-minded enough to take interest and be empathetic to pain that has been caused by this injustice you know it’s embarrassing it’s embarrassing that this is where we’re at but the positive is that hopefully growth and learning can come up this my concluding thought is that we need unification we need the white people in the world to talk just as much about it as the people of color in the world we need to be together there is no progress that can be made if we’re divided it is not them versus us it is we recognize that they have gone through things we can’t understand but we are here to ask questions to try to understand it we are going to educate ourselves and we are here because we support you and we could do this and marry and mix and then maybe in 50 years the world will fully be mixed filled with beautifully chocolatey babies and this won’t even be a conversation but until then we got to talk about it this week I think the pain came from feeling the sorrow of my ancestors who have gone through being literal slaves to see that we’re still at this point like to see that we’re still we’re still again mistreated like yes we’re in a much better place than we were but it’s still not there we’re still not there yet this is stuff that we want to avoid talking about even people of color because it’s not comfortable it’s not comfortable reminding myself of the time that I went to Slovenia and somebody commented saying that they wanted to lynch me and throw me in the river like that’s not comfortable but that’s a that I’ve gone through we can nip this in the bud with kind with love and with knowledge I truly believe that and curiosity one thing I want to talk about is that most of my life I used to try to fit the mold of what I thought people wanted of me and now as an adult i’ve realized that i can use my differences as my greatest strengths so if I’m in a room specifically to mine I have work which is hosting and being on camera and just creating content if I’m in a room with other white hosts I should not be acting exactly like them because my experience my personality I am different and it took me a long time to realize that I should lean with those differences because those differences add value so my recommendation for a person of color who is in a white space is to not try to assimilate and be white or be acceptable by white standards is to be your authentic self bring in your culture be proud of it and educate people around you about it because it’ll actually give you a greater strength as a team if you’re a boss and your mentor and you’re somebody that has employees please encourage your employees minority employees to be themselves sometimes we do need that permission right sometimes we need to be told hey Joe I know you come from a different culture and background do you want to talk about this and I would say absolutely thank you so much for giving me this space so it’s like give us the space because a lot of times if we are the only person of color in the room we’re not gonna want to cause too much attention to ourselves because we’re just happy to be there and that is a problem because yes while we should be happy to be there we

should also be happy to be there and add value where others can add value and if you have a different life experience than someone else your experience is going to add value this topic is huge and it’s heavy and it’s something I want to keep talking about but for now this is just me rambling to get this off of my mind please leave a comment below how do you feel right now are you diving into research do you feel ashame do you feel excited do you feel sad you feel overwhelmed I feel a little bit of all of those excited in the aspect of life this might be the step forward in the right direction but everything else because it’s not exactly the most one time and I gotta turn this off before the helicopters go right above the apartment because New York City is crazy right now

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