Erika Hillhouse | firstname.lastname@example.org | May 30, 2019
Most people believe that because the Bay Area is diverse, there is little racism or hatred towards minority groups. Although considerably less obvious than other places, racism, hate, and discrimination still exists; even at d.tech. Most people are guilty of the occasional off-color joke, thinking that because it is a joke it has no power, but that is not true. Words can be more powerful than one may believe.
Junior Oliver Simpson mentioned that although he does not care enough to do anything, there are students that have made comments about his sexuality which have made him uncomfortable. “I have heard a lot of comments behind my back from boys that make me feel unwelcome,” said Simpson.
There are many other cases in which a person’s words have caused someone to feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or upset. Junior Avia Levitt mentioned that people have come up to her asking if they could have “the n-word pass”. Levitt also said that when people make racist remarks to her, they sometimes mistake her for being another race and use slurs that are wildly inaccurate. “Here’s this loud black girl, that’s all she is,” said Levitt on generalizations people have made about her.
Lilia Pineda, Spanish teacher, said in response to the quotes in this article “I think there are students who use language without thinking.” She also went on to say that she believes “There are always micro aggressions happening within students.” Meaning that students say things that are small but abrasive to feelings of others.
Sometimes people make generalizations and have misconceptions about those that are different than they are, which in turn can cause people to feel attacked.
People have misconceptions about members of the LGBTQIA+ community; some people wrongly believe that being gay is a choice. “I didn’t wake up one day and decide that I’m going to be gay,” said Simpson, this being one of the many misconceptions he has heard.
However, the misconceptions are not limited to only the LGBTQIA+ community. It also affects people in the Hispanic community. Junior Jackie Saravia said she is greatly affected by generalizations that people make about her because of her race. A misconception that Saravia has heard is: “All Hispanics are messy, loud, beer-drinking trouble makers.”
Being discriminated against is not all there is to being part of a minority group. There are ways that being considered different from the societal norms has changed people’s lives for the better. “Personally my sexuality has influenced who I became friends with – because of who actually accepted me, ” said Simpson. Being born different than others can change your life in both positive and negative ways. Although people are becoming more accepting of others’ individuality, there is still a long way to go before everyone is viewed as equal. People tend to hate because they are scared of change and of other people being different from them. Racism and discrimination should be a thing of the past, not the future.