treated (very) kindly

5

happy international rroma day!
as someone who grew up in a small town in illinois, just being a latino-rroma or learning of my own history wasnt easy. everyday is a challenge for all of us, especially my grandmother, who cannot read/speak english well and is not treated very kindly by our white neighbors.
with my tan skin, black hair, and native language all constantly being poked fun at in school and treated as the backbone of their jokes, being called both a “wetback” and a “baby-stealer” in my primarily white school, its not something that does a lot for your confidence. but going through these tags and seeing so many varied and beautiful people here is amazing. for once in my life, i feel proud to be who i really am.

here are some pictures i have gotten from my mothers photo album, the first pictures are of my great grandmother, her sister, and her palm reading stand.
the second is my beautiful, strong mother, who has put up with the struggles and pain of being a rroma her whole life and raised a family by herself. she is the strongest person i know, and even if she doesnt see this, i hope one day she knows im grateful for everything she has ever done for us.

the second is an old picture of my small cousins around our neighborhood, which we still live near today and my mother owns an incense shop.

for all of you rroma out there, i want yo to know that you are wonderful. we may be constantly put down, but our spirits will never break. we are here, we are strong and we are beautiful, and we deserve visibility.

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#AsianInvasionDay - I’m a 20 year old bengali Muslim. My family and I came to New York when I was three years old. I would be lying if I didn’t say that the past 17 years I’ve never been discriminated against but you know what? I’ve also been treated very kindly and loved by those who don’t share the same culture and religion as me. So thank you! Here’s two pics of me looking hella cute.

Okay. I wanna jump in here and say something before it becomes more of a Thing than it already appears to be on my dash (and do please know this comes from a place of affection and concern for overall fandom health, not anger or disdain):

When Zayn returns (this entire post is made under the assumption that he returns, which I do still very much believe will happen), there will be a reflexive urge to be smug and a little brutal about it to people who didn’t believe that would happen. There will be an instinct to kind of rub it in a little.

And I get it. I definitely do. This is a corner of the fandom that has received a lot of shit over everything from Ziam to, y'know, the way we insist on openly discussing the stunty nature of the last two months. We haven’t been treated very kindly by other members of the fandom–but then, I think that at any given point, any part of the fandom could say that and be right. Why? Because Modest set us up to be against each other: Larries and antis, Ziamists and Larries, Mixers and Directioners, that was intentional. And it’s worked for years.

I am asking that we try and avoid indulging in that reflexive smugness and aggression, even preemptively. I know that probably pretty much everyone is like, “Yeah okay, obviously I’m not gonna @ people, but I’ll want to.” And that’s fine! That’s fine to want that on some level. But know that the words you put out there, right now and after Z returns, are the words people will see later. They won’t see the frustration and self-doubt and bullying you’ve experienced, they’ll just see the verbalized desire to see them suffer.

And that’s not going to help anyone. The people who are going to realize, in retrospect, that they maybe made the wrong call, maybe listened to the wrong voices of reason or followed blogs that focused on the wrong (though “different” is really more accurate) things, they’re gonna be experiencing the shock and loss and confusion and heartache and betrayal of their sense of reality that they felt when Zayn left all over again.

They will have to come to terms with the lie this stunt and, by extension, the boys, have told them. They will be hurting. And the same way we hate to be lumped in with the loudest and rudest among our group of fans simply because we also believe in Ziam or that this is a stunt or whatever, it’s absolutely unfair of us to do the same to those fans.

They’re gonna be looking for answers and explanations. The good news? We have those. We’ve been cataloging all the ways this stunt has come about for a while now. The people who will come over later, they’re not looking for an “I told you so” or a “where’s your four almighty now?!” Trust me, they know. You don’t have to rub salt in that wound, and it would be a cruelty to do so. Besides: if you don’t engage with them civilly, who’s to say they won’t disengage with you entirely and take up, for example, the idea that it wasn’t really a stunt and Zayn came back on his own? They’ll be more willing to accept a theory with no evidence, like that one, if it means they don’t have to deal with bad attitudes. Don’t give them an excuse to accept less than the truth simply because you’re angry.

Please don’t allow the pain and frustration a select few have made you feel override your instinct for decency and respect.