Thursday, June 14, 2012

Inspires ME

By Olivia Christon, 12th Grade, Washington Prep H.S 

In the book “My Sister’s Voices” Lisbeth Pelayo, 16, writes in the article "Racism":

"You also get stereotyped, such as when I went to my cousin’s house. Her friends were there, and they were white. When they saw me, they immediately started to ask me questions like what gang I was in. I said, 'What? I’m not even in a gang.' They said, 'oh, sorry.' But they were still afraid of me because I told them I go to school in East L.A. I felt put down a little, but it didn’t matter to me because I don’t really care what a bunch of white girls think of me, as long as my family and I know it’s not true. That’s all that matters."

I chose this passage because I understand where she's coming from. I go to Washington Prep H.S and when I talk to someone new they ask me what school I go to and when I say Washington Prep they assume the worst. They say you go to that trash and violent school where they always get into fights during school functions like games.

Some advice I would give to a young girl of color growing up in her community 100 years from now is do not be influenced by peer pressure.  I don’t care what people say about you as long as you know what the truth is.  And if a guy says the words, “but if you loved me you would," run in the other direction. Don’t walk, run.

What I did not know before taking Women of Color in the U.S class is that the main stereotypes for African Americans used by whites are Sambo, mammies as women who are overweight, very dark-skinned, middle age, loyal servants, very happy, and loud. Pickaninny is a derogatory term for black children, and coon plays to the dated stereotype of a black fool for an audience, particularly including whites. What I'd like to learn more about is why Native American women have a higher percentage of sexual assault. 

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