Racial Discrimination I Once Experienced During My Middle School

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I first became conscious of my race during my final year of middle school, before this race and color existed for me but no one in my surroundings nor I felt anything toward it. I went to an elementary school that was mostly made up of an African American demographic, and by mostly I mean around 90% of the students there were African Americans, while the minority included everyone else, in this environment race or color was never a problem, my teachers whether white or black were always neutral and fair to all the students. We held black history month events with more fervor than a normal school maybe, but I considered that a normal thing at that time.

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But when I went to my middle school this demographic completely changed. In the middle school I went to, which was basically an all-boys school, instead of moving between different classrooms we would stay in one classroom and the teachers would come to that classroom, so we would know our classmates for the entire year, and for years I was surrounded by mainly middle eastern demographics, including but not limited to Yemenis, Egyptians, Palestinians; all of whom were usually white, I had a few classmates who were from South Asia but Central Asia and in my class there was only one African American student. In my first year of middle school I didn't really notice any of the difference of race or color mainly due to the fact that I was surrounded by new people. I became friends with many different people who were of many different races without paying attention to these differences, but this began to change during my final year of middle school, when students began to move into different groups, while this was normal my class did it a little differently; instead of common interests or hobbies we separated based on countries we were from.

People would begin to befriend people from similar backgrounds, like Arabs would befriend their fellow Arabs and then they would separate from their old friends, thus causing the classroom to be divided by race. The Egyptians would stay with the other Egyptians in one corner of the room, the Bengali/Pakistani would stay with their fellow Bengalis/Pakistanis in another corner and so on, the kids who didn't have a group to go to would usually be accepted into one of the larger groups, and in these moments I would become conscious of the effects race would have on people. This division, although didn't destroy any friendships or anything, made me realize that I'm south Asian and that the fact that I'm south Asian matters to the people around me.

While this division did happen, we students still interacted with one another and the division didn't cause any major conflicts, at most we would refer to each other as The Yemenis or the Egyptians, and it helped me understand that race is something that affects us whether we realize it or not. At the same time I’m pretty sure that none of my classmates at the time thought things like “I’m Egyptian so I'm better than the Bengalis” or “I'm Bengali so I'm better than the Egyptians” or anything like that, I think we divided like this was because it was easier to understand and speak to someone with a similar background/culture.

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Racial Discrimination I Once Experienced During My Middle School. (2021, February 22). WritingBros. Retrieved June 19, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/racial-discrimination-i-once-experienced-during-my-middle-school/
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Racial Discrimination I Once Experienced During My Middle School. [online]. Available at: <https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/racial-discrimination-i-once-experienced-during-my-middle-school/> [Accessed 19 Jun. 2024].
Racial Discrimination I Once Experienced During My Middle School [Internet]. WritingBros. 2021 Feb 22 [cited 2024 Jun 19]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/racial-discrimination-i-once-experienced-during-my-middle-school/
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