The United States is classification-oriented society. America is race conscious and most individuals who are considered different from the typical all-American looks have to deal with racism in one way or another. Latino population in the United States has to grapple not only with racial issues but also the identity crisis. Some individuals believe that they should be identified just as Hispanic as an ethnic group and not be labeled as Latino because their ancestors are not from Latin America. The issue is also confusing for black Latinos who most often than not are considered as African-Americans. Latinos feel discriminated upon based on the color of their skin, their hair type, the language they speak, their culture and the way they are socialized. This paper is going to air out sentiments in response to the video featured in The New York Times in A Conversation With Latinos on Race.
This conversation brings forth some of the most sensitive issues that have always punctuated the American dream. The topic of racism is never-ending in the Unites States, and Latinos are better placed to shed more light on it since most of them have first-hand experience regarding racism. The most interesting part of this video is the conversation and individuals being provided a platform to talk about racism in their capacity as outsiders freely. Living in a society that has mastered the art of stereotyping and categorizing individuals as white, black or Latino, it is admirable for people to get a platform to talk about their culture and experiences, however, heart-raging. The most paramount issue is to have the conversation perpetually and as many people as possible share the stories to reach a wider audience.
As an international student from Saudi Arabia in the United States, the Latino experience is not very far-fetched from our experiences with racism and discrimination. We are faced with stereotypic remarks, racist accusations and inappropriate jokes passed across as opinions. Insensitive politicians are on the front-row at perpetuating anti-Muslim sentiments and easily get away with it. It is almost acceptable to discriminate against Arabs and Muslims racially. The racial profiling is experienced in American schools, workplaces, and public places. As a mother, it is tough to comprehend the whole idea of my child being looked upon differently in the 21st century when diversity should be embraced. Is it not about time the society was more tolerant of other peoples cultures and experiences? Listening to the Latinos give insights of their stories, makes me realize that it is indicative of my story maybe not directly but in a way.
The point is, racism is demeaning, inhumane and undermines the whole concept of humanity and tolerance. Neither should the color of my skin, nor my religious affiliation be the underlying factors to how well-acceptable I become in the American society. Racism takes a toll on individuals self-esteem and children who are not psychologically ready to deal with hurtful alienation will always feel insignificant. As a person in America, you just cannot afford to be part of the retrospective and demeaning culture of racism because it defeats the purpose of love and cohesion.
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