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.
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