Experience of Racism

When I was once growing up, I never knew that looks can be used to decide people. What I knew was that everybody is a human being wherever they are from. In school, I notion my schoolmates were judging me by the way I carried myself, my dressing style, or even my height. I later realized that none of the above was the cause why they tended to hate me so much. Most of my schoolmates were whites and I was unlucky not to be one of them. All their actions were just pushed by racism. Being a non-white in America means that every corner you turn, you will find racism lurking about you.

Racism includes any kind of discrimination, ill speech or mistreatment that one may receive from others because of his or her color. It also involves the preference or lack of it for people of a particular color than others. During my entire life in America, I have been trying to break through the walls of my cell, the one I have been imprisoned in by racism. However, my attempts have been unsuccessful because wherever I go, I always become a victim.

There was a time when I was looking for any job that could keep me busy. Then I saw an advertisement for a job vacancy. A classroom teacher was needed for grade one and grade two children in a school located in Roseville Sacramento. Since I had all the qualifications required for the job, I sent my application and went for the interview on the date announced. Those people I met there looked at me as though I was lost. The lady I sat next to looked at me from head to toe and then told me that if I wanted to see the manager, I could just go in since the interview had not yet began. When I said that I was there for the interview, she just chuckled and never talked to me again. When my turn came, the interviewer asked me, ‘’ Why are you here? We are not looking for Kung-Fu teachers. And since it says here that you are French, why should I even waste my time interviewing you? This job is for native English speakers only.” I got so angry I just stormed out of the office.

When I relocated to my current residence, my immediate neighbors were whites. They were a young couple with only one kid. When we first met, they greeted me jovially and seemed happy with me. Their son even became my friend and came to my house every evening after school. We could chat and laugh for a long time. Sometimes I could even help him with his homework. One morning, the boy saw me leaving for work and spat on the ground. I assumed it was coincidental, so I extended my hand to greet him. He withdrew immediately and said something I didn’t expect. He said, “You are bad influence to me.” When I came back in the evening, the house next door was vacant.

Racism is so deeply rooted in our society that some people engage in racist behaviors without even realizing it. In my experience, I have come to realize that there is no place in America that I will ever go and be treated as an equal. Even if I were to change my skin and appearance, I would still not enjoy the freedom of a white American. Racism has infected our relationships, education, social interactions and even workplaces. Interventions against racial discrimination have not been successful because many individuals deny the existence of racism. Most of the incidences are usually attributed to mere coincidence.

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