the fear of accidentally “liking” something on a crush’s fb page is all too real
“We’ve been ‘cool’ for a very long time, and in that sense our culture has been taken for a very long time. How do we define when we’ve arrived? It’s not when a young, white girl in Berkley is wearing nice garlands or those nice buddhist beads, or wearing bindi. I don’t feel like my life in anyway has been improved because she has the ability to do that and thinks that’s okay. My life hasn’t improved. The life of my mother has not improved. Our voice as a community within this economic system has not improved.
A good friend of mine, she’s south Indian, and she grew up in Connecticut. Her mom would make her wear her bindi and go to school. She would get harassed by kids… she would be harassed so much that what she would do, is that because she was so ashamed to have that bindi on her head, she would leave her house, wipe it off… and then come home and put it back on.
To the point where a child would have to think about such a deliberate attempt to refute their own culture I think is pretty profound. If there’s a white girl wearing a bindi walking down central avenue in the heights, she’s not considered a dot head, even though she has a dot on her head.
For me, the feeling is disgust and anger. The way I look at it if I see it, I just get so mad because I think, how dare this person be able to wear that, or hold that, or put that statue in her house and not take any of the oppression for that. How dare they. That’s not fair. We have to take so much heat and repression for expressing ourselves.
I’m going to rip that thing off your head, and I’m going to scrub that mehndi off your hands, because you don’t have the right to wear it. Until the day when you walk in our shoes, and you face what we face… the pain, and the shame, and the hurt, and the fear, you don’t have the right to wear that. It is not your right, and you’re not worthy of it. I feel like it’s so superficial and it’s so disrespected. One day, wake up, be me, and then you’ll see how powerful what you’re wearing is. ”
—Raahi Reddy, Yellow Apparel: When the Coolie Becomes Cool
When Andrew first arrived he was introduced to a sandy-haired, four-year-old girl called Rylee Nosworthy, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of two.
The actor took a particular liking to the shy, smiling darling as she hung back behind her parents, too overwhelmed to approach the star herself.
He spent the morning talking to her parents, Amy and Jason, trying to find out more about Rylee and watched on with a smile as they gently encouraged her into the water and onto a surfboard for the first time – this being no easy feat for a little girl whose life can be rocketed by a change in routine.
Talking about the Spider-Man star, Rylee’s mother Amy, 30, said she was blown-away by how genuine and laid-back the actor was.
“It felt like we were just catching up with friends at the beach – not meeting a celebrity,” Amy said.
“Andrew arrived early and just strolled down the beach, shook our hands and introduced himself to us and straight away started asking questions about Rylee and when she was first diagnosed with Autism.“
The rising Hollywood star spent close to two hours with the children, taking them out on the surfboards and signing merchandise, including Spider-Man branded surfboards to be auctioned off to support children with autism.
But it was a DVD that he signed for Rylee and the events that unfolded afterwards that captured everyone’s heart.
Rylee, whose struggle with normal social interaction is a daily battle, didn’t want to get a photo with Andrew and flatly refused a request for a hug, despite the actor frowning and turning his puppy dog eyes on her.
The actor joked about being rejected by the adorable infant, to which her mother quipped, “You wouldn’t get that very often.”
But his charm and gentle nature eventually wore down Rylee’s barriers resulting in a melt-your-heart moment, not even Rylee’s parents saw coming.
“Towards the end of the day he was signing The Amazing Spider-Man DVDs for the children, when he picked up Rylees and wrote, ‘I hope one day we get to hug.’”
Little did he know – his hug was coming sooner than he thought.
The little girl surprised everyone when they told her the actor was leaving. She was prompted to give him a high-five before he left but instead followed it up by running into his arms and giving him the hug he was hoping for.
“The look on his face in the pictures we captured was priceless – he really is a superhero!” Amy said.