www.whyville.net Jun 13, 2005 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

In a Latino's Shoes

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Lately, I decided that I'd seen WAY too many Latinos and Blacks being mistreated on Whyville. So, I decided to test my feelings out. Was this really happening?

I went to Akbar's and typed in Latino. I bought a head, ears and a shirt -- but I was appalled at how few Latino parts there actually were. Eventually, I put together a fairly decent Latino face, even finding a Latino girly arm.

Then I decided I would keep my Latino face until all of my Latino parts expired. Here is what happened for the 90 days that I was Latino:

I had two experiences where people were so mean to me that I 911 reported them. Both of these instances happened at the Trading Post. The first was while I was trading with someone. I was asking for a part and I told her that I would pay something like 150 clams for it. Then she asked for 200 clams instead.

I thought, I'm good at haggling so I'll hold out and won't go any higher than 150. So, I told her that I would only pay 150 clams for it and that I wouldn't go any higher. She asked for 175 and I thought again, I can hold out and she'll eventually have to agree to 150 clams. I told her that I would only pay 150 clams for her parts.

She then got really mad. She started saying that her stuff was worth even more than 200 clams and that she was giving me a deal by only charging 200 clams for them. I told her simply, "No," and that I would only pay 150 clams.

That's when she got racist. She said that since I was "black," I could be her slave if she wanted. I told her that I was Latino, not Black, and then 911 reported her. She was taped for her actions. I think she got a reasonable punishment. I hope she learned her lesson. I understand that repeated racism can get you banished from Whyville very quickly.

The next incident didn't turn out the same way. I was, yet again, in the Trading Post. I had finally, after waiting for 20 minutes, gotten a chair in Room One. After I had been sitting and showing off my stuff for another 10 minutes, people started harassing me and telling me to get off the chair. I just said no to all of them, because I wasn't done trading. After another five minutes in the chair, people started getting really rude.

One girl in particular was especially mean. She started saying bad words to me and misspelling them so that she could get away with it. Included in her insults were several comments about the color of my skin, comments that I felt were racist. I finally 911 reported her. Unfortunately, this time she didn't get taped (I'm not sure why). And, by going to the 911 report tool, I lost my seat in Room One.

After I told her that I had reported her, she started Y-mailing me and saying things like, "I'm not going to get taped" and "There was no reason for you to report me."

Her final excuse was that her mom had made her mad and she was taking all her anger out on other people. She even said that she knew it was wrong, but I didn't think that it sounded like she meant it. She never got taped, but I hope she still learned her lesson and that people CAN get punished for bad and inappropriate things that they say on Whyville.

One last thing about this incident -- what I still don't get is that her face on Whyville was Latino! Why was she making racist comments at someone of the same race as her (at least on Whyville?) This doesn't make any sense. Can anyone clarify this one for me? Thanks.

So, I was very disappointed in some of my fellow Whyvillians, but at least I got to learn what it's like to be a different ethnicity than most people. I wonder if this is at all like the real world in a sense. I wonder if all immigrants feel this way once in a while... hmm, once in a while, or maybe even all the time! That would be horrible to be insulted and mistreated all the time. I wouldn't ever want to leave the house if people treated me that way.

I hope that after reading this article you'll think before saying mean or racist things to Latinos and Blacks on Whyville and in real life. For all of the Latinos and Blacks reading this, I hope that it reminds you that if people ever make racist comments to you, that you CAN 911 report them. City Hall and your fellow citizens support you!

I hope that everyone that reads this goes away learning something new about racism and/or how to deal with it.

Checking out the bad behavior in Whyville,

artista :-)

Author's Note: One good thing did come out of this experiment. I found a new look and now I love the look of Latino skin. I hope that most of you try out some new looks, too, like maybe changing from boring pale peach skin to Pixie. Gothic to Latino? Black to Fairy? Changes are good for you. Try some new looks! :-)

Editor's Note: Thanks for your report, Artista. It's important to reveal the ugly side of our world, so that we know how NOT to behave. Perhaps this will also embarrass the guilty parties into learning, as well. But beyond this, I'm hoping we can also "check out the good behavior in Whyville," as well -- I know well that there are many, many good people in our wonderful town. What positive experiences do we all have to share with one another? Is that news, too?


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