Little Things Matter Too
Melinda Oliver - staff writer
September 30, 2009
Filed under Opinion
Thanks to America’s democratic government and the peer pressure to conform to what’s ‘normal’ the average United States citizen firmly believes in the saying, ‘Majority rules’ which is acceptable when dealing with fashion trends or even elections but when it comes to genuine life situations where someone’s skin color rules or singles them out the lines between going with the flow and unfairly treating someone can get blurred.
To walk into a room and be entirely unique from all the other people isn’t always as entertaining as it seems. For a boy with an accent or girl with differing skin it’s quite often very nerve-wracking and can immediately form a rift. A minority’s common plight is feeling the need to go above and beyond what is usually expected of them and all the hard work they put into staying above the game can ultimately alienate themselves from the group. Though racial prejudice was at a head during slavery, WWII, and the fifties and sixties an African-American, Latino and others can still feel uncomfortable in certain situations. These incidents can be purposely brought on or, more commonly due to ignorance, a complete accident.
Crude television shows and the media can feed into stereotypes, and if the only depiction of a minority’s lifestyle is negative and incorrect people do not know the truth. Jokes and inappropriate questions about cultural differences are extremely frustrating. This surprisingly is not only in the states but a worldwide problem.
Almost every minority you meet can tell you that their lifestyle is dramatically different from the ‘American dream family’ portrayed on television—especially if they’ve immigrated from a different country or continent altogether. Though America is the world’s melting pot, full of different races and languages, people tend to not feel the need to adapt or be sensitive towards others unlike themselves.
“I’ve faced it all my life; feeling like I had to simulate to their world but they made no effort or didn’t have to do the same for me. The psychological damage of how I was treated when I was younger still sticks with me to this day,” says Mr. Aaron Layton, a middle school teacher at WCA, a predominantly Caucasian school.
With this in mind we come to the fact that most people of the same race stick together. When with someone who is identical to you or faces the same trials as you do on a daily basis you feel more comfortable because they already understand a portion of you.
Diversity is not only about meeting quotas or being politically correct. It’s about knowledge and being mindful of your fellow man. Cracking jokes and running away will do no good; asking questions, reaching out and not being afraid of the unknown is the only way to solve a social problem, such as minorities fitting in.