Arrival

For my first blog post I want to talk about arrivals. First of all, this is my arrival to the blog sphere. I have never blogged before, but I am incredibly excited because I have always wanted to start a blog. I will remain nameless because I don’t need a name to reveal my opinions. So for now, I will just be an “anonymous teen spectator”, revealing my opinions and attitudes towards various subjects and topics around the world. To start off my blog I’m going to dig right into the hot topic of racism. Bold, I know.

The most important arrival I would like to talk about is the arrival of Africans into the United States. Throughout history, black people have been oppressed and discriminated against for their color of their skin. This is known as racism, a term most people are familiar with. What I don’t understand is how some people don’t believe that it exists. It has existed in the United States since 1619 when the first African servant arrived in Jamestown and it still exists today.

A common misconception in today’s society is that race is just the color of one’s skin. Race only involves shared physical and genealogical characteristics. These characteristics are due to genetics, not the color of one’s skin or where one lives. People often confuse race with ethnicity. Ethnicity occasionally incorporates race, but consists of more conditions in broader categories including religion, culture, and language. These differences are important to understand when trying to unravel racism.

Going back to the beginning again, racism has been a huge problem in our country for way too long. There is no easy way to fix it, but ignoring it will not make it go away. Racism is so deep within our society we often don’t realize when we’re being racist. White people need to understand and realize the ingrained systematic racism that exists within the United States. Another important point to mention is that you cannot be racist to a white person. You can discriminate against a white person, but being racist only exists to an inferior race that has been oppressed in history. The most oppressed race in American history is African Americans.

“Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has already given me a look at what it’s like to be black in a dominantly white society. The main character Ifemelu describes her interactions with white civilians and the things they say to her or looks they give her make me cringe. Even the African women in the braiding salon stereotype her, assuming just because she’s Nigerian she knows the actor in a Nigerian movie. This amazing book is for white people to read and realize the disgusting system of racism that exists within our country. It has already opened my eyes more to the horrible racism that still exists within our society and I’m only a couple chapters in.

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One thought on “Arrival

  1. I think it’s really important that you pointed out that “you cannot be racist to a white person.” All throughout American history the elite, wealthy, educated, land-owning males held precedent. Like Anonymous Teen Spectator mentioned, Americans own the label of racism. It took years for ethnic minority groups and feminists to overcome racial or gender discrimination and gain their basic equality rights. As an African American immigrant, Ifemelu discovers for the first time what it means to be black in a hegemonic society. Post-colonial literature, as in Americanah by Adichie, tries to reverse this polarization of ethnic discrimination and break down society’s dichotomy. Minority groups, or African Americans to be more specific with Ifemelu’s circumstance, illustrate the corrupt dichotomy at work in order to create a new identity of blended cultural practices, a theme that I believe will present itself in the chapters to come.

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