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            When I look back on my life and I
think about where I have come from, I can’t help but think about what my life
would have possibly been like if I was born as part of a minority. For the most
part, I’ve had it pretty good. I mean, my family isn’t “rich” by any means and
I haven’t had it easy because I still had to work at what I wanted and what I
needed. But I never really had to fight against being discriminated against
because of the color of my skin, or where I come from.

            I live in a small town in Missouri
called Huntsville, which is no bigger than 1,550 population in the town. Me
personally, I have brown hair and brown eyes – typical, right. Growing up in my
town and in my school there were few African-American students, or students of
other races. I remember one time that my mom and I were in Alabama to visit
family and we went to eat at a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant when I, being
the maybe 9 year old that I was at the time, took a long look around the
restaurant as we were placing our order and I just whispered to my mom that we
were the only white people in there. At the time I felt a sense of
embarrassment when she said that we were in the south and we were part of the
minority instead of the other way around down here. I didn’t know what to think,
I saw the people in Alabama as just like any other person but it wasn’t like my
small town community of Huntsville, it was a different community.

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            This had me to believe that there
was more in the world than just people like me, and my family. There were
people or different races, different ethnicities, and they were still all just
human beings – just like me. As a child, I didn’t understand the idea of race
and I didn’t understand that while things were just given to those who were
like me in the past that people of different races, or different ethnicities
had to actually work for what they wanted.

            As I got older, there was still not
many African-American students in my school. I believe there was a total of
eight minorities overall in my high school – granted living in a small town
means going to a small school where the total student population was only a
little over 200 in the high school. But still only eight students of minority
race, or ethnicity, of 200 total students. Though I believe from my
embarrassing question when I was nine years old in a different state made me
open my eyes a little bit and be more accepting of others for not the color of
their skin, not their beliefs, or their background, but for them being them and
as a genuine human being.

            When I look back I can’t help but to
be thankful for those interactions that I’ve had because they have truly helped
me grow as a person and helped me grow to be more accepting of others. This
also helped me to see that I’m not perfect by any means by just the color of my
skin. I still have my struggles just like anyone else and I still have time
where I second guess myself or those I’m working with because no one is perfect
and no one is immune to making mistakes just because the color of their skin or
where they’ve come from.

            However I do believe that living in
a small town did hold back some interactions that other people might have with
different racial groups just because they live in a bigger town, or city. Being
in a small town and going to a smaller school district where the majority of
the students are in fact Caucasian, I believe no doubt held me back on some
interactions with people from different racial/ethnic groups. To end I want to
include a quote from Sarah Silverman that says, “Relations between black and white would be greatly improved
if we were more accepting of our fears and our feelings and more vocal about
it.”

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