Racial Differences Essay

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Racial Differences

"CHINK!!!! Yeah..that's right…look at us with those chinky eyes! Go back to where you belong!" Those words will forever ring in my ears. I was standing in line for lunch while talking to a friend while a couple of boys, fourth and fifth graders, were making fun of the only Asian girl in the school, me, a lonely kindergartener. I will never forget that moment when I realized that I was different.

Growing up in a predominantly white community, I had never thought of the issue of race as a child. My neighbor and I were best friends, and I never thought of myself as different. She had blonde hair; I had black. She had blue eyes; I had dark brown. We loved to play with the same things, thus we were
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In fact, I did not realize I was a combination until that day in the lunch line. Then, I began to question my identity. What defined me as Chinese? What defined me as American?

Throughout my years in my white neighborhood I grew up as an equal among my classmates. My peers had never teased me; in fact, the incident with those older boys was the only act of prejudice I have ever experienced. Classmates were very tolerant, and so was I. Forced by circumstance, I accepted living among all white people and they with me. They became familiar with the only Asian girl in the school, and the racial issue disappeared. I had friends and my ethnic background was not a problem. They saw my personality and saw me. I was an American.

In tenth grade my AP European History teacher asked me a question that made me realize that people saw me as American. With China threatening Taiwan and its quest for independence, the United States government was questioning its own involvement in the issue. My teacher asked me, "If we went to war with China, which side would you be on?"

"The side I felt was right," I responded without question. "No, you would side with America, because you are an American," he curtly stated. "I am American, but I am also Chinese," I muttered gruffly. "No, you were born in America; you are American."

"Yes, that is true, but the blood that runs through me is Chinese. I cannot change my
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