Who said it was ok for you to say futbol?

Microagressions at Oberlin. It could be the title of a new sitcom; someone should pitch it.

No but really, Conor Friedersdorf in the Atlantic gives us a case study.

Last fall at Oberlin College, a talk held as part of Latino Heritage Month was scheduled on the same evening that intramural soccer games were held. As a result, soccer players communicated by email about their respective plans. “Hey, that talk looks pretty great,” a white student wrote to a Hispanic student, “but on the off chance you aren’t going or would rather play futbol instead the club team wants to go!!”

It would help if he hadn’t made it white student / Hispanic student, since white can be Hispanic and Hispanic can be white. But anyway: the “Hispanic student” was pissed off by the email.

After initially emailing the student who offended her, she decided to publicly air the encounter that provoked her and their subsequent exchange in the community at large, hoping to provoke sympathy and antagonism toward the emailer by advertising her status as an aggrieved party.

She did so in a post to the web site Oberlin Microaggressions, a blog  “primarily for students who have been marginalized at Oberlin.”

Ooooooooh I want to check out that blog, I bet it makes for some great reading.

The aggrieved student quoted the aforementioned email: “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!!”

Then she explained her grievance:

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 context.

That’s disgusting. All of it.

“Who said it was ok for you to say futbol?” Excuse me? Since when do people need permission to say things? We don’t. If it’s not clearly done to jeer or mock, nobody needs permission. And damn, “Keep my heritage language out your mouth” is just appalling. It’s not “appropriation” to attempt to speak other languages; it’s provincial not to.

She has more:

She also published the email that he sent to the white student:

  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.
  1. 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.

Cis-dude? What’s that got to do with anything?

There’s more. It’s gruesome.

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