“Those few who gained a share of understanding,
who foolishly unlocked their hearts,
their pent-up feelings, and their visions to the rabble,
have always ended on the cross and pyre”
—van Goethe, Faust
Ever since I was a little girl I have always been very quiet, shy, timid, unassuming in manner, respectful toward my superior, submissive toward my parents, obedient toward teachers and slavish in front of my peers. I wasn’t very pretty when I was little and because of my mixed heritage I looked more or less like a freak who belonged nowhere, but as I grew older I became very pretty (it all started when I was 11 years old—somehow I just blossomed into an angelic face) and boys sought after me and that was when I started to feel that maybe life wasn’t too terrible a wound after all. I had always been quiet in school; I never spoke up in class; I never wrote anything that did not conform to what was expected of me and I never had my own opinions; when my high school American peers condemned Holocaust, and visited Holocaust museums I was right there cheering them on; when people said you shouldn’t discriminate against black people I was following their orders to the letters. I agreed with everything everyone said and I never dared to disagree with anyone. I never made outrageous claims, nor ever uttered what my masters of thoughts would call “nonsense”, or “absurd”. Even in college I majored in mathematics and stayed away from liberal arts as much as possible. I was that girl you see in class who sat in the back and never said anything in class, who was polite to everyone, who didn’t seem very gregarious but would always wear a smile if you talked to her. That was me and that was until I met my white boyfriend from Kentucky who—though not agreeing with anything I speak of, and to say nothing of his own quintessential American beliefs like how Jews killed Jesus—encouraged me to express myself more. And just as immediately I started to unlock my heart, express my pent-up feelings, and expose my weltanschauung, behold! they descend upon me as if I were an enemy of the people; they condemn me as a pale criminal. “Thou hath committed thought crime!” They shout in my face. “How could anyone write such ridiculous racist rants?” “What is wrong with you? Go commit yourself to a mental hospital.” People want me to express myself, but they don’t want to hear my opinions. They only want me to express opinions that they agree with and they want me to say to them, “Yes, those are my opinions as well. I absolutely agree with you.” Maybe I think too much. I should just spread my legs for my boyfriend and shut up. But it’s too late, master, you should have thought that before you taught me how to read.