Sometimes I struggle to keep my angry woman of color attitude in check. It was at its strongest when I was younger, probably when I was about 20 or 21. That was at the height of my involvement in MEChA and in student government. I saw an injustice and evidence of racism everywhere I looked. I changed sometime after I started graduate school and was in a very welcoming and supportive educational program.
Three years in to my graduate program, I still see injustices. There are many things that make me angry, but I think about them differently. My first instinct is still to react the way I did when I was 21. But now, I try to wrap my head around my opponent’s point of view. For instance, I hate the fact that our fees (tuition) keep increasing, but I understand the point of view of administrators and the regents who favor the decisions.
But every once in a while, like today, that 21 year old comes out. To be honest, I don’t even struggle too much to keep the attitude in check. I like it. I can’t just be silent when I hear something that is completely wrong and misguided in regard to something I care deeply about (e.g., fighting for increased ethnic diversity at the University of California).
And you know what? I think it’s kinda fun to bring out that 21 year old, with her big mouth, big attitude and big ideas.