Class Of Minorities This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Class of Minorities

by K. Y., Leominster, MA



In society today, minorities are treated differently from others. Some cases concern racism while others may deal with situations of sympathy or pity. Though there has been progress in recent years with the treatment of minorities, the war is far from over. I will discuss certain situations for minorities in schools. Keep in mind, however, that these situations don't occur only within schools, but are widespread and occur within almost every aspect of life for minorities.

Picture a typical day in a typical school. The bell rings and the first class has ended. Students crowd the halls as they "stroll" to their next class. One student in particular is walking down the hall. Along the way he passes by an "Oriental" student. As he passes, he places both hands in front of his chest in a manner as if he was praying, squints his eyes, and says, "A thousand apologies!" It isn't so much what he said, but how it was said. It was in a tone that is an imitation of a Chinese. This act, as it seems, was to ridicule the "Oriental" student, but the "Oriental" student feels more disgraced than ridiculed. People often refer to the habitants of Southeast Asia as "Orientals" because there is a resemblance to the Chinese and the rest of Southeast Asia. The term "Oriental" was first used to refer to the Chinese, and then spread to others due to the resemblance. However, these people would prefer to be considered "Asians," even the Chinese. More important, they would rather be considered as a member of their own race, whether Laotian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Korean or Chinese.

In one school, everyone is about to take a very important test. Before the test the teacher speaks privately to one of his students. Because this student is a minority, the teacher tells him that he can take the test in a different room by himself, if he wishes. The teacher says this not because he is against the student's race, but because this would give the student more of an "advantage." Consider this: if you were by yourself in a room taking a test with all your books at hand, what would you do? Though the intentions of the professor were good, he does not realize that he has insulted the student's intelligence. To show pride, the student turns down the offer and takes the test with the rest of his peers. Though he did not do that well, he still feels as though he has accomplished something. Indeed he has. He was able to compete on a level with all the other students.

Minorities are often criticized or ridiculed and at times, given or offered certain advantages due to sympathy and pity for them. These practices are a form of prejudice.

Today, almost everyone is prejudiced, whether in regards to race, sex or class. Everyone seems to prejudge before they try to understand.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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