Reality Check

I can’t help but notice the inner turmoil of minorities that are trying to make a difference in their community.  After becoming more aware of the world around me, all the oppression, inequality in the society, and the acts of inhumanity that have been consuming the media channels for several months now, I’m beginning to notice the layers of meanings behind each aggression, realizing that every act of injustice or oppression is an insult to the rest of humanity as well.

Even when the nation celebrates holidays such as the “MLK” day, I saw the change in how I viewed the day and the underlining meaning of what it meant to celebrate this day.  When I left for winter break last week, I felt like there was an emerging battle ahead for us all; there had been protests for Black Lives Matter all throughout the country, Islamophobia was permeating the news, and acts of hatred lined the newspaper stands.  And so when Martin Luther King Day rolled around, hearing all these talks of so-called equality and how we have achieved it as a nation, I couldn’t help but feel disappointment in the truth of the matter because it still feels like we are still fighting for equality like we did fifty years ago when Dr. King was alive.  What are we fighting for? Exactly the same things: freedom, liberty, pursuit of happiness… But also those simple, basic human qualities that everyone seeks: security, the ability to love, and to be safe.

America- “the home of the free and the brave” is heavily rooted in the dark truth of oppression.  It’s very interesting how my views on America have changed over the last few year, especially after coming to college.  I use to be a sheltered, first generation Asian immigrant and for my family and me, the United States of America was a place of equality, where we had a chance at bettering our lives.  We believed full heartedly that if we worked hard, and followed all the rule, one day, we would surely be rewarded.  But as time goes by, I saw the snickering and the starring my father got when I use to go to his day job as a janitor.  I heard the comments made by my mother’s co-workers about how she dressed and what she ate. And that hurt.  What hurt more was the fact that both my parents felt like their only choice was to keep their head down and avoid any type of conflict.  Later on down the road, I learned that one of the main ways of dealing with oppression is avoidance.  The victims feel so powerless that they feel like there are no options except for going out of their way to deliberately stay away from any type of potential oppression.

Reflecting on my parent’s experiences causes me to wonder where we, as a nation will be in ten, fifty, or even one hundred years.  And my conclusion is, these same problems and issues will continue to be apparent because there is a lack of admitting that oppression exists and acknowledgment to try and confront it.

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by NAY MINTIN

image: (http://seattletimes.com/art/mlk/index.jpg)

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