Dear Mills Administration:My name is Xarina Lansang, and I am a student in an English AS class here at Mills. I am writing to you to hold an assembly for the ninth grade class to discuss the issue of racism. Having this assembly is essential for ninth graders at Mills because racism is very prominent in the world.
An organized and orderly discussion will bring awareness to the issues of racism, and it can improve the interracial relationship among the students, and enable the students to better handle themselves when confronted with racism. First of all, we should have an assembly because racism is a significant topic in the world that has a caused discrimination and violent crimes, such as mass killings, poverty, police brutality, and racial profiling, just to name a few. Although racism is not prominent at Mills, there are still unconscious biases, which make students behave in discriminatory ways; for instance, the other day, there was a pair of Caucasian girls talking about what an Asian girl was eating. I heard them say, “I don’t know what it is, but it’s probably some sort of Asian s***.” This affected me because as an Asian, I felt they were disrespecting a culture that they, presumably, knew nothing about. Therefore, through an assembly, these types of things, such as making assumptions about races, can be discussed so that students are enlightened on their unconscious biases and will learn how to respect cultures different from their own. Furthermore, racism is an issue that plays an important role in our society and an assembly can bring awareness to it. Although Millbrae is a very racially diverse city and the majority of people are not exposed to racial inequality, racism is prominent everywhere else in the world.
After the 2016 presidential election, in Silver Spring, MD, a “kill” message aimed at black students was spray-painted in an elementary school bathroom. In North Bend, OR, a girl that was an American of Colombian descent was shouted at to “Go back to Mexico!” In DeWitt, MI, Caucasian boys linked arms to block a girl from her locker and chanted, “Let’s build the wall!” and “You need to go back to Mexico!” The girl was terrified to return to school the following day. This proves how assumptions and stereotypes can affect students’ actions, and how badly those actions can hurt people. Additionally, studies conducted by researchers at Rush and Yale Universities revealed that stereotypes surrounding race affect how people respond to everyday situations. The researchers found that African American students often hear that they are “destined to fail,” and they start to believe these statements, lowering their self-esteem and act accordingly to these negative statements.
This shows that labeling and negative stereotyping can and will affect people’s behavior. Through an assembly, we can teach students to disregard the negative clichés that surround them so that the interracial relationships between students will be better. Wouldn’t you agree that having this assembly would be beneficial to the students of Mills High School? Racism is very notable in places around the world and it needs to be discussed so that students can better handle situations that are racially motivated.
Thank you for your time and please consider holding an assembly. Sincerely, Xarina Lansang.