The Danger of a Single Story: Wholeness in our Ethnic Identity

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Wow!  This talk has resonated with me in so many ways!  I love this idea- that telling a single story about a people creates stereotypes.  The problem with stereotypes is not that they are wrong but that they are incomplete. That’s how I feel about the stereotype of Hispanics.  The single story being told in America is incomplete.  Maybe that is why I never identified with it?

I’m Hispanic but I’m not an immigrant. I didn’t drop out of school or even fail a class. I have fair skin, don’t speak Spanish fluently, and can not make Mexican rice without burning it.  My story shouldn’t seem “different”  to people but rather it should make the Hispanic identity in America more balanced.  We need more than one story of what makes someone Hispanic.

I’ve seen this also play out in my faith.  As she shares her story of reading books as a child and believing that the world of literature was only filled with white characters with blue eyes,  I saw the world of Christianity as white as well.  Now just as she was grateful for those British books, I am grateful for my church and Campus Crusade for Christ.  I grew in my faith and learned what it meant to love Jesus.  But just like her story, the unintended consequence was that I didn’t know that I could be a believer and hispanic too.  I didn’t know I could embrace my ethnic identity and be a mature follower of Christ.  In many ways, beginning to work with Destino has helped me to grow and begin to move towards wholeness in my identity in Christ (including my ethnicity).

So listen to this talk!  I could write a novel about it.  I pray it enriches your view of people and breaks you from the “single story” you’ve been told .

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Posted on December 12, 2010

About destinoeric

A white guy who believes Latinos will change the world, Destinoeric served with Destino from 2008-2013. You can read more of his posts here or on twitter.

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