Oberlin Microaggressions: White guy saying "futbol" is racist
Date: September 25th, 2013 8:43 PM
Author: John Friendly
Checking in with Oberlin Microaggressions – a site dedicated to
bitching and moaning about ways in which white cis males hurt peoples’
feelings – because it’s been a while. A Latino student received an
email about a talk being given for Latino Heritage Month from a white
teammate on their co-ed soccer team which read “Hey that talk looks
pretty great, but on the off chance you aren’t going or would rather
play futbol instead the club team wants to go!!”
Here’s why the Microaggrieved Oberlin student was upset:
Ok. 1. Thanks for you thinking that the talk is “pretty great”. I
appreaciate [sic] your white male validation. I see that it isn’t
interesting enough for you to actually take your ass to the talk. 2. Who
said it was ok for you to say futbol? It’s Latino Heritage Month, your
telling people not to come to the talk, but want to use our language?
Trick NO! White students appropriating the Spanish language, dropping it
in when convenient, never ok. Keep my heritage language out your mouth!
If I’m not allowed to speak it, if my dad’s not allowed to speak it,
then bitch you definitely are not supposed to be speaking it. Especially
in this context.
Full microaggression is here: http://obiemicroaggressions.tumblr.com/post/61719471286/futbol-and-white-people
Futbol, and WHITE PEOPLE
SO people may have heard of the Arlene Davila speaker event that
happened tonight in celebration of Latino Heritage Month. Thanks to all
who came out but especially thanks to those who cancelled their
intramural soccer games, and Thursday night bong parties to come a
support the Latino Community.
Hours before the event I got an email from a member of my soccer
team (Pussy Whipped, that has way too many white people on it for me to
ever show up again. Aside, I already learned last semester when I
failed Co-ed indoor soccer that I would never play soccer with white
people when I couldn’t even bear it enough to show up for half a credit
(aprox. Worth $1,000)). Anyway, the email said:
“Hey that talk looks pretty great, but on the off chance you
aren’t going or would rather play futbol instead the club team wants to
Ok. 1. Thanks for you thinking that the talk is “pretty great”. I
appreaciate your white male validation. I see that it isn’t interesting
enough for you to actually take your ass to the talk. 2. Who said it
was ok for you to say futbol? It’s Latino Heritage Month, your telling
people not to come to the talk, but want to use our language? Trick NO!
White students appropriating the Spanish language, dropping it in when
convenient, never ok. Keep my heritage language out your mouth! If I’m
not allowed to speak it, if my dad’s not allowed to speak it, then bitch
you definitely are not supposed to be speaking it. Especially in this
So I thought it would be a good moment to tell this guy off, and
also get some things off my chest about why I will never show up to
intramural again, why during our first game I was completely blown that
he was not passing the ball, stealing at the wrong times. Learn how to
play like a community member! Why I am being pushed out of another space
in Oberlin. I even quit last year too!
So here is what I said:
This email is rude. I organized this talk. Thanks for undermining a good attempt to get people out.
1. Your not latino, call it soccer. You don’t play futbol.
Futbol is played with people (LATINO) who know how to engage in
community soccer, as somebody who grew up on the cancha (soccer field) I
know what playing futbol is, and the way you take up space, steal the
ball, don’t pass, is far from how my culture plays ball.
2. I’m not playing intramural once again this semester because
you and your cis-dude, non passing the ball, stealing the ball from
beginners, spanish-mocking, white cohort has ruined it (for the second
time). Unless I find another team you won’t be seeing me.
3. I don’t care if this email is over the top or mean. So
complain to whatever white friends you want about it. You’re never going
to know what its like to not be able to your own heritage sport
comfortably because of your gender/race/ethnicity.
And then I get this long ass email (warning it gets full of
white guilt and really boring white liberal shit, so I will highlight
the fucked up parts about it)
Heres the Response:
I thought we were somewhat of friends (nope) and thats why I
feel I need to respond - but mostly, I’m sorry that I detracted from
your event. Do you really think people who were going to go to the talk
changed their mind because of my email? I don’t think so, and that was
not my aim at all - I wanted to give those people who had been looking
forward to playing soccer on Thursday a chance to do that.
You do not get to define who I am. Fuck off. Clearly you only
see me at face value and yes I’m white and male, what do you want me to
do about that? (LEAVE THE SOCCER TEAM) I have a second family that I
have spent a good portion of my life with. My brothers Paco Rafa and
Diego my mom Julie my grandmother Margo and my father Arnoldo.
Technically their my god-family but for all intensive purposes they are
my family, call me their 4th son, and I am extremely close with them. My
father came from Costa Rica as a fourteen year old boy, living, working
and studying through an education program jointly coordinated by the
catholic church and UC Berkeley. My 2nd family is Costa Rican, and I am a
part of that family no matter what you say. I’m not claiming to be
latino and I don’t think I’ve ever claimed that, but I do have a latino
family and you trying to separate me from them, to create distance that
doesn’t exist based purely on how you incorrectly perceive me, is
(WOWWWWWWWW SO YOUR NOT RACIST BECAUSE YOU HAVE A “SECOND”
LATINO FAMILY, SECOND! We need to talk about tokenizing brown
friends/family and taking them in to identify with POC’s (or avoiding
accountability for being racist).
Also, soccer is not a spanish invention and you do not get to
claim the sport for yourself. (SORRY DID U SAY FUTBOL OR SOCCER?) For
one its an english invention (RIGHT PRAISE THE COLONIZER) and two its
the world’s most popular sport played as a lifestyle by more peoples
than just latinos. Soccer was the language that allowed me to make
friends with people my own age when I studied abroad in Zanzibar.
Your anger with the white male patriarchy is justified,
(THANKS!) and the social system of America perpetuates injustice by
giving unfair advantages to white people, to wealthy people, and to men.
Now i realize I’m getting into your area of study, and not mine (OR MY
LIFE), but these systems are perpetuated because of human tendencies to
favor people like themselves (ABSOLOUTELY WRONG AND RACIST, WHAT IS
COLIANLISM AND WHAT IS CAPITALISM) - and because positions of power in
this country are generally held by white males, white males receive huge
advantages. Advantages that they do not deserve. Growing up as a
white male in this society, I have benefited countless times from these
advantages that I did not and do not deserve, but growing up I was
generally not even aware that I was gaining an advantage - it was the
only reality I knew. This is a question I have truly struggled with
through my life - I don’t deserve these advantages, but they exist for
me, I never sought them out, I didn’t want them and cant give them away,
what am I supposed to do? How can I feel like any of my efforts are the
product of my own effort and not simply my unequal social status? This
made me very depressed for a time, (WHITE GUILT, TEARS) I didn’t want to
do anything because everything I did do was the product of those
advantages. (LOL). Eventually I decided, that was almost more
disrespectful, to do nothing despite having these advantages. It is a
fact that I have those advantages, but I cant let that stop me, I can do
a lot of good and use those advantages to do positive things and chip
away at that unjust structure. (BUT UR NOT OPEN TO FEEDBACK)
My area of study is Environmental Studies, a field dominated by
white males. But also a field whose main work is building equality and
dealing with the geo-spatial injustices of our present world. I am going
to use what I’ve been given (even if its unfair and unjust - the fact
remains that IT IS at least currently, which is all that matters for
now) to do the most good for the most people that I possibly can. This
sounds absurdly hokey, but honestly that is what motivates me. Would you
prefer that I do something else?
Maybe this gives you a little bit more insight into who I am so that you can make more informed judgements.
Again I’m sorry to distract from your event today.
OKOKOKOK. So white people with “brown” associates can’t be
racist, or appropriating, or take up space, and make space uncomfortable
and unsafe for people of color and women. BASIC. Second, did you once
address how you take up to much space and make this space unsafe? Did
you once consider leaving this space? I’m glad you’ve recognized your
not latino, how hard was that? Did you ever think that you shouldn’t
speak or advertise your Spanish because your white. How hard is it to
understand when a member of the latino community comes out and says, DO
NOT APPROPRIATE AND FETISHIZE OUR LANGUAGE. GET OFF MY CANCHA!