In high school I was somewhat of an 'outsider'. I went to a high school in downtown Toronto that was 60% Asian (mostly Chinese), and 30% was European and 10% was other. The Asians hung with the Asians, the Europeans (Italians, Portuguese and Greeks) hung around with each other, you had the small black minority and then other (the 'hippies', that's what we called them).
I was in an 'Extended French' program and a good number of the students in our 'exclusive' program were Portuguese. Now there was always something I couldn't quite put my finger on but I've figured it out. While the Portuguese would never say they were 'rascist', they never quite blended with any of the other cultures except for the Italians and Greeks. Which is hardly 'blending'. Sure, they were in clubs with them, were on the same sports teams, etc...But what really became apparent to me was that no matter how much they acted 'cosmopolitan', they never really fooled me. I saw through the thin veil of rascism or predjudice that they wore. Sure, no one would ever say anything remotely rascist. But I figured out soon enough that ignoring the 'others' or pretending to be excepting was just as rascist as being blatantly open about predjudice.
I made it a point early on in my life to face my 'fears'. I mingled with the Black students, dated one of them for a couple months, had many chinese friends, dated an asian girl, etc...I made it a point to learn as much as I can from the other cultures. This is what learning is all about, so I thought.
I knew that the Portuguese crowd whom I still had ties to, thought I had a screw loose. Actually, these same people ran the yearbook and decided to put me in as "Most Cosmically Unaware" (they knew they couldn't get people to actually vote me as such). They couldn't understand why I dated everything under the sun. If the truth be told: I dumped a Portuguese gal who ran the yearbook for a Jamaican gal.
I was also "Runner-up for the Best Looking"
So you think that I'm a cosmopolitan fella today huh? Not really. I'm just as Portuguese as the next guy. I can't even fake being white anymore
. I'm way more Portuguese now than I was in high school. The older I get the more Portuguese I become. I dunno what it is. I still can't speak the language though.