One-Sided Pride

Imagine being told to “put your weave back on” in front of the entire school just because that is a stereotype for your race. Imagine being told you don’t belong in the United States because you weren’t born there. Imagine being called stupid, dumb or lazy because English isn’t your first language.

That’s everyday life for minorities.

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In a perfect world, ethnicity wouldn’t matter as much as it does today. Where people come from would just be a fact, like eye color or hair color. A person’s nationality wouldn’t determine what scholarships they are eligible to receive or what job they could have. A person wouldn’t feel threatened because of their skin color.

But in our world, it’s almost the complete opposite. Today, our society is white-washed. Everyone has to have the same culture, background and hobbies. There isn’t any room for diversity. Anyone who isn’t white is disregarded in the United States.

Racism is still prevalent. While others might beg to differ, minorities get mistreated in the halls of our school.

While American society has gone a long way from their white ancestors to fix the social injustices of minorities, many other maltreatments,  from vulgar slang to judgments to physical threats, remain.

The Diversity Club’s 12 members and its sponsor, Cris Pitman, advocated for a week dedicated to diversity. Diversity week consisted of a black-out day to support a cyber-bullying-free school and posters of non-American heroes who have improved or influenced the world, like Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo and even Shakira. Diversity Week culminated in an assembly.

On Thursday, Feb. 20, Diversity Club put on a “Diversity” Assembly to show support for the different cultures that are present in the student body. The Diversity Club invited many ethnic groups besides the African American community to present themselves to the school, but those groups were not able to participate, so the assembly ended up having little cultural variation.

But the assembly, rather than uniting the school, showed how separate all the students really are. Some white students took to Twitter to complain, others completely bashed the F.L. Schlagle band and step team, using words like “ratchet” and “ghetto.” Other white students verbally made vulgar remarks about how the presenters looked, spoke or danced.

The fact it’s 2014 and people still use degrading names toward African Americans, Hispanics and Asians is beyond shocking.

“I’ve faced struggles growing up as an immigrant, as well as racism,” junior Billy Do said. “People just think of me as the typical genius Asian, and I’m not.”

If we live in the country of freedom and liberty, what does it say when a black student, or any minority, gets verbally abused by a white student?

Most of the white students at this school aren’t aware of the oppression minorities face everyday. While most students wouldn’t consider themselves racist, people still judge others based on matters such as socioeconomic status or dialect. It seems people will always think they’re better than others.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. We live in a land of opportunity; we can stand up for what is right, or at least try. Racism can be demolished for good, but it’s our job to do something about the issue.

Be accepting of other ethnicities; don’t assume every Latino is Mexican, every Asian is Chinese or Africa is one country. Be aware of people of other ethnicities that roam the halls. And be respectful at assemblies.

America was designed to be a country for refugees looking for freedom, but with Free State’s recent actions, it’s far off from the original intent.