White Out | Teen Ink

White Out

May 29, 2008
By Anonymous

Every day I go to school, I notice the student body dividing; the gap between us grows bigger and bigger. The barrier is not about clothes or interests. It is not some age old vendetta. It is our languages that separate us.
This division began around the time I was in second or third grade, with just a few new Hispanic kids, who had to quickly learn English and make new friends. But more and more kids kept coming in, and now, within five years, they make up a significant percentage of our school’s population. Don’t get me wrong, though. It is good to have a mix of cultures. Our town is predominantly made of rich white kids, and to be quite honest, I think it is boring. But the problem is, the cultures didn’t mix.

As new Hispanic students were added to our district, they formed clicks and spoke to each other in Spanish. I had made friends with a Hispanic girl once, but she left me for some other girls who could speak Spanish. We had been best friends at one point, and now she won’t even look at me when I pass her in the halls. I was left out. Now, she’s in a group of about twenty or thirty kids, all Spanish speakers. They glare at my friends and me as we walk past them in the halls, and sometimes even whisper things to each other, which we can’t understand. It has come to the point at which neither Caucasians nor Hispanics will try to talk or communicate at all.

I myself do not come from a rich family, but most of my friends do and can come off quite snotty to most people. This only makes the Hispanic kids resentful, and I can’t blame them. It irritates me, the way that one of my friends could purposefully spill salt water on their keyboard so that their parents would have to get them a new one. I couldn’t blame the Hispanic kids for wanting the whites out.

I often wish my skin was darker, or at least that I could get tan without just burning. There is so much racial tension at my school, and I have tried to relieve it, but it never seems to work. It’s high time the public schools did something.
For example, Spanish classes should be longer, mandatory for all students, and integrated, so that Spanish students could learn English alongside of English students learning Spanish. Also, I think that the school should observe and celebrate Mexican holidays, such as El Dia de Los Muertos, and Dia de los Reyes, so white students could learn more about the culture, and thus, relate to Hispanic students better. Lastly, I think it would be essential for Caucasian students to understand that Hispanic kids are people, like the rest of us, with families, and feelings, and emotions, and not just those eyes that stare at us when we walk through the halls. All of us deserve to be treated the same, even by each other.

Entonces, concluir, quiero escuchar a que tienes decir. Mi español no está bien, pero puedo aprender. Quiero romper los peredes entre nosotros. Me gusta mucho hacer amigos nuevos, siempre. Piel no tiene importancia. Quiero ser tu amiga.

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