Blog #37: Ceremony- Racism

“There he is. He thinks he’s something all right. Because he’s part white. Don’t you, half breed?” (Silko 52).

“He knew Emo meant what he said; Emo had hated him since the time they had been in grade school together, and the only reason for this hate was that Tayo was part white” (Silko 52).

Emo’s dislike for Tayo is clear and he straight forwardly states his feelings about Tayo being of a mixed race. Even though Tayo never says or acts like he is better than others, Emo automatically positions Tayo as someone who thinks he is above others. Emo says that Tayo “thinks he’s something all right,” all “because he’s part white.” Tayo never says this about himself . If anything, he has been confused and ashamed of his mixed heritage because of the shame that his family suffers through from his mother getting pregnant by a white man. Just being white makes Emo believe that Tayo thinks he is better than other people. This shows the power of race and the dynamic of race relations. Tayo’s true personality and actions are overlooked and, to Emo, he dispalys the air of “superiority” that other white people do. By saying how Emo hated Tayo since “they had been in grade school together,” shows how involved race has been in the Native American experience. Even in grade school, Emo had certain ideas about white people because of his experiences. It seems that Emo’s hate can come from two different places. The first is a place that hates white people and believes that Tayo represents the oppression that Native Americans face. The other is a place that also hates white people but seems to acknowledge that Tayo can have and advantage being white. The term “half breed” holds a negative vibe. It is like you cannot be considered a fully “whole” person because you are mixed. You are of two different “breeds.”

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