You Are Not Born Racist By: Paul Hwang

I am a student at Staples High School and cannot say I have dealt with racism but I’ve witnessed and seen other people affected by this. I believe everybody should be treated equal but not everybody is. I think the way we view racism is because of our community. In a case study by Rodolfo Mendoza, a professor at the University of California, found that nobody is born racist. It is learned. This brought me to a question that I asked myself. Does our community affect how we the people see racism?

Back in eighth grade I watched a film called “Prom Night in Mississippi”. It was about a school in Mississippi that always had a prom for the all white students and a prom for all the black students. The film has interviews with the kids and their parents to see how they feel about having segregated proms. The parents liked the idea of the segregated proms and so did some of the kids. This showed that because the parents didn’t want a non segregated prom, it wore off on to their kids thus proving my point that racism is taught not learned. but with the help of Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman, the students at Charleston High School have their first prom that both white and black students were allowed to go to the dance together. Although this non segregated prom still happened, I specifically remember one part of the movie where a white girl liked a black guy but the father of the young lady did not allow her to see this boy. This relates to the topic because the community members were the ones not letting their children go to prom with a person of different race.

“American Born Chinese” is a book about a boy named Jin Wang who is going to a new school but it turns out he is the only Asian person at this school. He deals with getting picked on for being different until a new student named Wei Chen arrives from Taiwan. During this process, Jin falls in love with a pretty American girl named Amelia Harris. After trying to be in the popular crowd, Jin soon realises that he has a friend in Wei Chen. He first doesn’t like the idea of being friends with Wei Chen because he was different. This relates to my topic because this shows that Jin is being racist because the popular kids made him think that being different is bad.

In another film named “Separate but Equal”, it is about the Brown vs The Board of Education case that was brought to court. The movie takes place in the south at a school where the white students get all the materials they need to learn while the black students aren’t treated equally and getting the same things. This case was brought to the Supreme Court because the educational system was breaking the fourteenth amendment which was everybody should be treated equal. After debating this in court for almost a year, the judges came to an unanimous decision of 9-0 to have equal school systems. One part in the movie that relates to my topic is when a psychologists came in and had two dolls, a black doll and a white doll. The kids were asked which doll was prettier and out of the white students and the black students, they all chose the white doll. This shows that the students were taught that white people are better than any other race and even the black students said that.

All in all, I think the research question that was researched was found true. The parents from Charleston High School didn’t want their child going to prom with someone of different race, Jin Wang thought it was bad to be different because of the popular kids, and the black students from the Brown vs The Brown vs Board of Education case thought white people were prettier because society told them that. The community does affect how we see racism. You definitely are not born racist, you are just taught.

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