Work to solve systemic racism

Aidan Merrill, Reporter

What makes you truly an American? Is it your race, or that you’re a citizen who actually lives in America? Many people seem to  have different opinions about this so today I am going to share what I think matters and what makes you truly American. 

Naturally, a person may become a United States citizen by birth or through naturalization. Generally, if you are born in the United States, or born to US citizens, you are considered to be a US citizen. Unless you are born to a foreign diplomat, your birth certificate will be your proof of your US citizenship. Race should not determine whether you are an American citizen or not.

Because I am white, people automatically assume that my family was started in America. Really though, my grandfather immigrated from France to America and met my grandmother here. I am an American citizen though, and I was born here so that does not make me any less American.  Most percent of black people in America would be considered more “American” then I am, because their families were started here. However, when most non white immigrants move here, get citizenship and then have children, their children aren’t considered American to society. Is this just because we’re confused or because America is just racist? 

In America, sometimes your status is determined upon your race. Today’s continuing inequalities in education, housing, employment, wealth and representation in leadership position  are rooted from our country’s shameful and disturbing history of slavery and systematic racism.  70 percent of U.S hispanics say they have experienced racial discrimination, 7 in ten black people say they’ve experienced racism and five in ten Asians have experienced racism. Even if they have lived and worked in America longer than white people, their social status  is lowered because of their raise and it is disgusting. 

White americans are more likely to get a good job than black or latino americans, even with the same level of education. White workers have benefited from “historical and systemic educational and economic advantages” that have enabled them to carve out a “disproportionate edge” in the workplace that lasts for decades, according to a study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. The study

I think that Americans need to realize that no matter what your race is, we should all have the same opportunities. 

The corona virus continues to have health and economic problems for the American public. But for many, especially Black and Asian Americans, the problems go beyond medical and financial issues. About four-in-ten Black and Asian adults say people have acted as if they were uncomfortable around them because of their race or ethnicity since the beginning of the outbreak, and similar shares say they worry that other people might be suspicious of them if they wear a mask when out in public, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. 

Even our own president went as far to call the Coronavirus, the “Chinese Virus.” This is extremely offensive towards Chinese Americans, especially the ones who have never even lived in China. White people could have traveled and been a carrier of the virus, but they would not have been judged. About four-in-ten Asian (39%) and Black (38%) adults  and 27% of Hispanic adults say someone has acted uncomfortable around them because of their race or ethnicity since the coronavirus outbreak. Only 13% of white adults say this has happened to them.

When asked about other negative situations they may have experienced because of their race or ethnicity since the pandemic, Asian and Black adults are more likely than Hispanic and White adults to say that they have been the subject of slurs or jokes or feared someone might threaten or physically attack them because of their race or ethnicity.

During a global pandemic, the last thing we need to do is start blaming it on race. We need to be taking the precautions to be safe, learning more about it and sticking together as americans. It doesn’t matter what your race is or where your family came from. 

I think it would be a smart idea to start teaching children about racism at an early age. If more adults were educated and their morals were formed earlier, it would be so much easier for them to change. A lot of children aren’t given a chance to form their own opinions or learn, their parents just inform them and most of the time they are not correct. 

Being white does not make you American. If you are born in the United States, or born to US citizens, you are considered to be a US citizen. It doesn’t matter what race you are or what you look like, none of that makes you American and people need to realize this.