As promised, this will be the first of several stories written for my class' ENL Magazine that I spoke about earlier. It was written by a long time student of mine and it speaks to the feelings of a young girl who has experienced both the good and the bad about coming here. Take a look...
None of this has been easy. It took a lot of hard work to learn the language, to be able to communicate, and yet I feel so rejected. I feel so isolated from my American peers, and even some teachers, too. Sometimes I feel that I’m not treated with respect and kindness by them, and they never even try to speak to me. Now I'm not saying that this is everyone, it’s not. There are many very nice and kind people here, too, but the ones who treat me differently because I'm from another country, because I speak another language, or that I have a different skin color, makes me angry. These things don’t make me less than them. Being Hispanic doesn’t mean that I am not intelligent, or that I can’t do what anyone else can do.
This separating ideology that some people have prevents them from seeing that really we are all the same. If they just take notice, they will realize that there is no difference between an American and a Hispanic. We are all human beings! I don’t understand this separation. If we are equal, why are we treated badly because of our differences?
I understand that in my country there are bad people and that many of them come to this country and do bad things. They embarrass me and fill me with indignation and sadness to see that they are like that, but just because they are like that doesn’t mean I should be judged differently or badly. We shouldn’t have to pay the price for their bad behavior. Get to know me before treating me badly. There are as many young Hispanics like me who just want to study, be honest, not do bad things and not take people’s jobs away. I think that God rewards people who struggle so hard to achieve.
For every person who reads this, I invite you to give yourself an opportunity to get to know me, to get to know some of us. We’re not all bad. Know us and judge us according to what you observe in us, not simply because we are Hispanic. We’re not all gang members or murderers. You should thank God that you are blessed. You do not have the need to immigrate to another country for your safety, for food, or to just save your lives. Imagine if you had to move to another country for these reasons, and people there treat you with indifference, as we are treated here. Imagine you had to learn a whole new language in order to be able to survive in that country. Imagine what that would be like. I can tell you it would be frustrating.
Like I said, we are all human, with feelings, emotions, and each with our own problems. We are the same. So I invite you to leave that race-separating ideology, to not judge us without knowing us. Say hello. Make a friend. See that we are all good people with dreams to succeed in this jungle full of wild animals.
THANK YOU FOR LISTENING