Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Part 3 Race in America

Racial discrimination is a very important concern in the US. For some reason we can't all seem to get along no matter what the color of our skin is. One particular race that is often stereotyped is the Asian-American race.  Several examples of these stereotypes can be seen across all areas of society including business, military, education, and sports.
            There have been incidents at different fast food restaurants, where Asian-Americans are marginalized and discriminated against. One occurrence was at a Papa John’s in New York City, when an employee typed a racial slur on a receipt to a customer. The picture of the receipt, which showed the name “lady chinky eyes,” was tweeted by the customer and went viral, gaining it public notoriety. Papa John’s has apologized publicly both via Twitter and on its Facebook page, and the cashier responsible for the slur, a sixteen year old high school girl, was fired. I don’t believe this individual meant to stereotype or garner any sort of hate behind her actions, but used rather ignorantly ways of describing a customer in a busy fast-food establishment.  She is a product of her educational upbringing and had she been more knowledgeable and sympathetic to current ethnic issues, this incident may not have happened.
            Another incident of this discrimination is the death of 19-year old Private, Danny Chen. Chen was found dead with a gunshot wound below his chin. This gave evidence that the wound was self-inflicted. Upon further investigation, it was found that Chen had been the target of racially motivated taunts and physical attacks at the hands of his superiors and comrades before he died. Five of these soldiers were charged with involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide in Chen's death. As a sibling of soldier, I had the opportunity to witness the Marine Corps boot camp and witnessed the brutality these men take from their superiors. It is comforting knowing that they will be prepared while protecting our country, however a line should be drawn. Danny Chen’s death is devastating not only because his life was taken, but that his life was dedicated to serving his country and yet he was treated in such a heinous way.
            Asian-Americans have also been determined as being the most bullied in US schools.  Data shows that Asian-American teenagers are three times more likely to be bullied on the internet. It was found that 54 percent of Asian American teenagers said they were bullied in the classroom, sharply above the 31.3 percent of whites who reported being picked on. The data comes from a 2009 survey supported by the US Justice Department and Education Department which interviewed some 6,500 students from ages 12 to 18. The Obama administration has made efforts in halting the continued bullying. In March, the president joined Facebook for an online anti-bullying conference, where he warned that social media was making the problem worse for many children.  Obama has also contributed to the It gets Better movement by submitting a video to those who seek hope.
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