Trying to understand Tianna Arata

August 14, 2020

Tianna Arata, photo by Richard Bastian


Here is why I have a difficult time understanding Tianna Arata.

My birth name is Sandra Del Carmen Rojas Portillo. In El Salvador you have many names and your last name order is determined by your parent’s marital status. In my case Rojas is my maternal name which lets society know I am a bastard child meaning my parents are not married. This is no longer the case in El Salvador, we have advanced, woohoo.

I grew up in a Salvadorean village with no running water, no electricity, no toilets, very little food. We ate chicken twice a year, Christmas and New Year.

I came to this country when I was 16.5 years old with no money, no real family, no English, and only a sixth Salvadorean grade education, and nothing but a dream to succeed and the knowledge that only in this country could a peasant girl like myself could succeed. This country gave me the opportunity to become a critical care nurse and because of what some of you have labeled as a minority, I graduated with zero debt. This was not a privilege afforded to my white counterparts.

To those of you who call label me as a minority, I want you to know that I find your term demeaning and insulting. What I hear you say is that you believe I am less than you based on my skin color. I have always been proud of beautiful brown natural tan, and have never really seen myself as anything but a person.

However, since all the talk about having to see each other for our skin color, I can’t help to wonder if people notice my color instead of Sandra, the person. Looking at everything from an immigrant’s perspective, I strongly believe that this country has equality of opportunity for everyone, but the outcome is up to each individual.

I recognize that some of you may feel very uncomfortable because my story challenges the current national narrative, but it is ok to feel that way. All I ask is that you question, think and think some more. I am open for respectful discussions. In order to have a diversity of thought, we must be willing to feel uncomfortable.

I also want to make it clear that I acknowledge the suffering of others, and in no way I am trying to minimize someone else’s pain or experiences. I simply believe it is important to get other perspectives.

The last point I want to make is that we must not forget the roads paved by those who came before us such as Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, JFK, and many more. We must also recognize that we need each other, we share this planet, and we must find a way to work together.

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Three months later with the dreaded election nearly complete, one has to conclude this election remained close largely because Americans are accustomed to racism and subconsciously, have passively come to accept it on one side, and embraced on the other .

Gotta love that photo from an artistic standpoint. Right out of the Che Guevara school of revolution. Of course, if you know the history of Che, you’ll realize that while his methods were abominable, his cause was righteous. Batista was among the most brutal dictators of all time.

It’s just too bad that Che’s cause was so corrupted by the Bolsheviks that another form of brutal dictatorship, which the Cubans continue to live under, would rear its ugly head.

As for young Ms. Arata, I view her as basically harmless at this time. Unfortunately, if the U.S. continues to sanction and ultimately vote for a second Trump administration, this form of revolution and far worse (go back and read Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls about what the Spanish did to each other) will be ubiquitous across the nation.

For the first time in my 73 years, I fear for my nation.

I believe what Ms.Arata is doing here is testing the waters to see if she would get a fair trial in this county. I’m sure her attorney coached her on this article so they could build a case to move the trial out of this county if negative comments outweigh the positive. Directing people to stop traffic on the highway and then not letting the person on the way to the hospital proceed through are both a crime. She is not the victim here.

Thank you so much for that wonderful piece. America is great because we don’t judge people by where they came from or what they look like. It is the people who can’t get through a conversation without bringing up race that have the problem. I will always see you as my wonderful and amazing friend with the heart of gold and the spirit of an angel. Anyone willing to reduce you to a shade is missing out on a wonderful friendship. Have an awesome day and when I grow up I want to be just like you! (Although I’m not likely to grow up anytime soon)

Yes. The people that can’t get through a conversation, news comment, or protest without mentioning race are certainly a problem.

“America is great because we don’t judge people by where they came from or what they look like.”

So, why is it that this nation elected Donald Trump, who has called Mexicans “rapists,” labeled places where black and brown people come from as “shithole countries” and pointed out that there were “some fine people” among a group of white supremacists?

In case you’re confused on this issue, white supremacists (and I sincerely believe that Trump is such—just go back and look at his remarks about Obama’s birth certificate, the Central Park 5, and his support of the Nazis and KKK in Charlottesville) are all about judging “people by where they came from.”

Think of it this way: Negro, Black, Africa America or whatever, the fact remains the music we love, the sports we watch, the intelligent speakers we admire and movie actors that we favor would all disappear if these people weren’t not here. Are we saying that we need to remember slavery and give a helping hand just because?, wrong! Everything before 1950 or me as an adult is history to be remembered or learn from, not a debt I have to pay. Like Sandra, I too did not know that I was a minority until my employer categorized me as one. Now I know that I’m truly of choice (actually always was), I’m happy to let someone else be the important one with a tie, slick car and a Cuban cigar. Just happy to be me while some have a need to be recognize as inferior to get what they want. It is shameful that Tianna is so unhappy with her life and lives a need to blame others. She will absolutely fail, fail, fail with her antics.

Great post Jorge. Thanks for that. May you prosper long and be happy!