Why I Wear a Suit

CLA / Mgmt

CLA Mgmt

May 18, 2018 3 Comments

When I was a kid I dreamed of wearing a suit - like the men I saw on television. At the time I had no idea what these guys did for a living, but I wanted it all - buzzing my secretary, asking her to bring me a cocktail and sit on my lap while she took dictation. You can't blame a guy for dreaming big, right? This was the 60's - before #Fortnight #DowntonAbbey and #StormyDaniels
I took an accounting class my senior year of high school - and the rest (as we say in East San José) is history. Well, not so fast: there have been lots of bumps and bruises along the way. One of the first was discovering the teachers did not hand out textbooks in college. Then again, some things were the same as high school - being asked to stand outside the classroom door for talking too much to the co-ed at the next desk.
After college it was on the the working world. You see, no one in my neighborhood studied abroad or enjoyed a "gap year" traveling. Most of my friends have been incarcerated or lost their lives due to violence or addiction. Others joined the military since we thought we were going to war with Iran.
Once I started my first real accounting job (graduated on Saturday and my dad told me I needed to have a job starting Monday), I quickly discovered the world is run by straight, privileged, white, men. I tried my best to fit in - shaved off my mustache, removed my bracelet, and never spoke Spanish. I thought I could cover my true self and be evaluated on my skills (not by my brown skin). I kept my head down and never complained about the insults: "I never knew Santa was a Mexican;" "You have dirt on your head (on Ash Wednesday);" "How can you say you like America when you're not white?" "How did you end up with a white last name?"
At some point I realized a pattern of how I was treated, not only at work, but in stores, restaurants, and by the police. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that when I wore a suit I felt like the others - accepted. Of course, this has not always been the case. I've endured years of teasing for being the only guy in a suit - keep in mind that this is Silicon Valley where standard business attire is like that of a Target team member.
I'm in the twilight of my career, but truly hope to make a difference for younger generations. I dream of the day when people are no longer judged by labels: race, gender, sexual preference, religion, diverse abilities, etc.
I pray each night that my daughter will not have to endure racism or sexism. My whole world begins and ends with her. I'm not looking for special treatment, but equitable opportunities.
Education is my passion - it is my belief that education is the difference maker. The challenge is that Latino learners start kindergarten so far behind the other kids, that they never catch up. These kids have an entire deck of the status quo stacked against them: uneducated parents, violence in the home, no WiFi, no computer, inadequate nutrition, underfunded public schools, living at the poverty line, etc. Worse than the Beverly Hillbillies before Jed struck "Black Gold."
Will things change? I'm cautiously optimistic - while racism is no longer as overt as it was in the 60's, there are many who will not let go of the status quo. Changing what they have is like #Sizzler no longer offering steak and all-you-can eat shrimp.


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TOP 3 Comments
  • Symantec Snoop Dawg
    Hello Bot
    May 18, 2018 0
  • Twitter thesunrise
    ...so what’s your question?
    May 18, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Eng

    Amazon Eng

    > CLA, KPMG
    Checks out
    May 18, 2018 0


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