Being Treated as the Others
by Julien Bettencourt
Recently in my Biology class I heard something from a classmate that I wasn’t expecting to hear. “Talk with me when you learn English.” I wasn’t expecting to hear a student of Hudson High School say this as I thought that the kids here were perfectly normal to kids from other countries. I thought the students were used to the Hudson community, which is mostly made of foreigners.
But this was not my first experience with this response. When I talk to my friends, they like to make fun of my way of speaking. Most of the time they tell me things like “what???” “I don’t understand what you’re saying” or “you’re weird.” For me the worst I’m used to hearing is “Speak English.”
This frustration isn’t mine only. I have many friends from other countries, and they feel the same. People don’t understand their accent and make fun of them, so they don’t even try to make an effort to speak with American students as they feel that they are going to be mocked by them. Sometimes people even say, “Go back to your country. We don’t like immigrants.” I think that kind of comment is ridiculous in the schools and in this country because the United States of America was formed by foreigners.
In a survey of 50 eighth to twelfth graders 48 surveys showed that the kids did not have problems at all with kids of different races and nationalities. The other two surveys, a male student and a female student from twelfth grade, said they did not like the kids from different nationalities and races at all, but still they said they did make an effort to have social interaction with them.
I don’t believe in the results I got back from the surveys as I know many students from Hudson High that don’t like foreign kids at all and don’t have problems saying it. I’m not saying it is every student in the school that is like that, as I have a lot of American friends from this school and they are really great. I just want this to stop. It is ridiculous the amount of kids that are used to living together with kids from other countries but still are not able to socialize with them because of the prejudices against immigrants.
Every day I know that someone is going to insult me about my way of speech and I’m not alone in this frustration. That is why at lunch time most of the foreigners are together because we feel more comfortable with each other speaking in English, and even if the entire group speaks Portuguese we still speak English.
Short URL: http://bigredhawks.com/?p=2794