Why I Chose This Picture

1187 Words5 Pages
America is commonly referred to as the veritable “melting pot.” Individuals from all walks of life come to the U.S. in the hopes of achieving the American Dream. What began as a land of indigenous people has matured into a haven for cultural diversity. For the most part, these differences have strengthened the country. Nowhere else on Earth can a citizen enjoy French cuisine, partake in Chinese New Year festivities, and listen to live performances of Jamaican reggae all in the same day, in the same city. It is important to note, however, that this diversity is not without its flaws. Racial tensions still exist in modern America, despite considerable social progress since its inchoate stages. Even if racism may not be as obvious as it has…show more content…
Although society encourages all of us to embrace diversity, it was hard to do so when I first moved to South Dakota. As my picture shows, I was one of the very few Asians at my school, and it was not easy trying to simply blend in. Humans may collectively condemn judgments based on skin color, but it really is inevitable for visual creatures like ourselves. Though my white classmates did not show their sentiments outright, they regarded me as an outsider. They were not familiar with the Asian culture or people, so they took the convenient route to figure out my identity – stereotyping. I was expected to excel at math, be buried in textbooks and SAT study guides all day, and act awkwardly among my peers. Whenever I did not fit the Asian “mold,” they were genuinely surprised and even threatened. I wanted my identity to be judged upon my individuality, accomplishments, and characteristics. Instead, my Asian heritage consumed the entirety of my identity. I was not “Doha Kang” in their eyes. I was “that one Asian kid.” For those who have not been part of a minority, discrimination may be very hard to imagine. After all, even the U.S. Constitution promises equality for everyone, regardless of race, gender, and most recently, sexual orientation. Let it be known that racial prejudice is very real. It is not something the media has made up to garner attention. There is racism everywhere, even in the places one least expects. Universities are an excellent example,
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