Other people’s (racist) thoughts

Thank you so much for the section for Black Scholars. I am Mexican-American and much of it applies to my experience. We consider ourselves American — our family was here before the border was drawn. But that doesn’t mean other people do. I grew up in a high tech city, but people assume I grew up rural, doing farm work. I have a very strong growth mindset and have all my life, and yet people who will counsel me as if I need to have a growth mindset when I am overwhelmed by other people’s judgements. I had a racist professor in grad school, which other professors knew about, but they decided it was better not to confront the issue, but to declare it a “poor fit” and consider it no longer a problem if I wasn’t any that professors lab anymore. My accomplishments are ignored, or discounted, in corporate settings. My work has been credited to other people. I have been criticized for speaking out of turn for correcting others — instead of being recognized for my expertise, I was seen to have been speaking out of turn. I am corrected when I am in fact correct.

One of the hardest things has always been that I can work on my thought models (even before I found Scholars I did similar work), constantly look to learn and grow, not be afraid to fail on my way to my goal, but I can’t get away from other people’s assumptions, projections, judgements and conclusions.

I have rewritten the story of my past as much as I can as a person who kept going, no matter what they said about me. Who believed in herself when others told her to her face she didn’t belong, and couldn’t do it. I finally have the job and salary I want and believe my career will continue to grow. But I am still so angry (and sad) and still think of how much more I could have accomplished if I hadn’t had to deal with people’s racist assumptions about me the entire time. Where should I go from here?