Franchesca, 15, New York

One day my mom, my two sisters, my aunt, and I went to the mall. We were at the mall parking lot, looking for a parking space. My sister got out to hold an open parking space. A man and a woman in a white car were saying some things I cannot remember and they slowly drove their car into my sister’s knee, luckily she was not hurt or anything.  We got out of the car to ask him of course why he did that and such. We were all a little angry, obviously because he had done that to my sister; still, we kept our composure. The man and the woman in the white car did not. They kept right on yelling and yelled out “Why don’t you just go and get your green cards and leave”.

It was the first time I had ever experienced racism that blunt and uncensored. I am Dominican, from the Dominican Republic, a country on the island of Hispaniola, in the Caribbean. I never thought of my ethnicity as a bad thing and I still do not. It always been something I was proud of, something that makes me who I am. It is because of my ethnicity that I have my tan skin complexion, my curly brown hair, and my accent, all things that I love and wouldn’t change. Now here was this man and woman telling me these things were a bad thing. I’ll admit I was really angry at first, who were these people to assert themselves superiority over me and my family and talk down to us in such a horrible way? What right did they think they had to think they’re better than us without knowing the slightest thing about us? But that passed, because I knew being angry would do nothing. I was hurt, but I also felt bad for that man and woman. I know that because they are so quick to pass judgment on people, they are going to miss out on meeting amazing people and having great experiences. I don’t hold any type of anger of grudge against these people. At the end of the day I am happy in my own skin and personally do not need anybody’s approval. I just wish they learn the error of their ways, for them to realize that words hurt, and to know that what they did was not okay. I hope one day, rather than put people down because of their differences, they approach them with a warm curiosity, educate themselves, and embrace them.

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