by Mary Louise Gomez - 2019
In this chapter, Mary Louise recounts Toni Morrison’s (2017) arguments in The Origin of Others about what grounds peoples’ sorting and ranking of persons they consider unlike them in aspects of race, social class, gender-nonconforming identity, or language background. She recounts how her own Latinx family engaged in such conversation about people they saw as not conforming to expected standards of behavior in 1950's and 1960's small-town New England life. Although they were themselves derided for their social class and language background, they nonetheless held so-called “others” accountable for their religious, marital, employment, or cultural nonconformity. Mary Louise likens her family’s cataloguing of the failures of “others” to contemporary perspectives on people seen as outside of those with privileged identities.
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