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Racism and Prejudice at State College

opinionated Essay
2401 words
2401 words
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Racism and Prejudice at State College

America: the home of the brave and the free, the "melting pot." America: a society of endless possibilities and promises. We as Americans have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Or do we? On what do these rights depend? Power? Power is the ability to influence another's mind. Though expressed in many ways, power is not always accessible. One's social, economic, ethical, and racial status determine how much power one can have--the cultural majority has the power. In American society, culture plays a pivotal role in our everyday life and experiences. What happens when one's identity or sense of self is lost in the melting pot?

Who I am and what race or culture I belonged to never seemed to be an issue until I came to State College--everyone around me was the same race and belongs to the same culture it never seems to be an issue. More and more, as I roam this campus, I find myself asking the same questions: do I belong here? Is this the place for me? Who am I? I always come to the same conclusions: I'm me, Emanuel Simmons, the same person who came as a freshman but with more knowledge now. I ask myself, "Who was Emanuel Simmons as a freshman?" and I realize that to figure out where I belong, I must first figure out who I am.

State College is a fine institution of learning with a great deal of promise. When I first arrived at State College I was caught off guard. I was an eighteen-year-old, young black man coming from a big-time city to a small town. I had my share of trouble, and I was a little naïve but not innocent. I was in college, away from family and friends and on my own; nothing could stop me now. I was on top of the world, floating like a free balloon...

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...thing about. So with lack of knowledge comes suspicion. I'm not saying that all State College students act this way, but a few mess it up for everyone else. If we as individuals take responsibility for our actions, maybe we would be held accountable for our actions and not everyone else's. In this world we all would like to think we know who we are, but it is only when we come in contact with others of different backgrounds that our sense of self is heightened. We tend to define ourselves as "us and them" rather than "us all." It is so much easier to categorize each other than to learn about each other. We must work together as a community to strengthen each other's weaknesses and let our individuality shine through. Then and only then will we be able to respect and embrace one's differences. We all belong to the same race, humankind. So let's start acting like it.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that america is a society of endless possibilities and promises. power is the ability to influence another's mind.
  • Opines that to find out where they belong, they must first figure out who they are.
  • Describes how they were caught off guard when they first arrived at state college. they were an eighteen-year-old, young black man from a big-time city.
  • Describes emanuel simmons as a city boy with high hopes of coming to college with excellent grades and great potential.
  • Explains that blacks are underrepresented and badly stigmatized on this campus. they talk to black students about the atmosphere and tension they see among the different ethnic groups.
  • Opines that it is racist and ridiculous for people to think that when a black person does something, it's not on an individual basis.
  • Opines that racial diversity is a problem when topics such as social inequality, race, gender, and class are discussed.
  • Opines that there is tension among the "races" on campus, and that the blacks fight for recognition, which is akin to taking an extra class.
  • Explains that to solve this problem, we must first think of every student at state college as part of a big family. respect breeds dedication, loyalty, and friendship.
  • Explains that most people at state college equate the word "black" with being bad. dispel stereotypes and keep the lines of communication open.
  • Opines that a school that prides itself in excellent international relations would at least want more blacks on its payroll.
  • Explains that at state college, one loses all sense of self and becomes another person who has to defend his race in every conversation. it can be difficult to identify self because everyone else will look at you differently.
  • Explains that blacks aren't treated equal on state college; they're treated as a race of people who are just bad by nature.
  • Analyzes how many state college students think and act. one black man entered a room assuming it was his friend's and was reported to public safety.
  • Opines that people dislike or fear what they know nothing about, so with lack of knowledge comes suspicion. if we as individuals take responsibility for our actions, we would be held accountable.
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