Camilla, you’re the only one that may understand. But Jillian, Aiden, and Dylan, I write this to you so that you could read this later. I normally don’t talk to you about anything serious, mostly because I don’t think you will all understand. But this letter addresses the issue of racism. Eventually, you will all learn about the Civil Rights Movement. You will also learn about how there was a racial divide between whites, and minorities of all other colors. I have recently finished a book, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates(I really want you all to read this book), in which he exposes what it is like to live in the body of an African American and the struggles that he encounters throughout his life. Since this book is a letter directed at his son, Samori, he writes to inform his son of the truth, and also tells him to not stop believing in the truth. The truth is, hurtful acts of violence, discrimination, subordination, and enslavement have all occurred in the past to one group of people, or another and despite efforts to say “sorry”, we should never forget about the past. The unfortunate happened, and a majority of these acts are inexcusable. Now, living in Sacramento, we are immersed in a heavy Asian culture, but remember, I lived somewhere else where that was not the case. In fact, it was actually the complete opposite. In Truckee, I didn’t feel safe for a long time. I didn’t fit in. I felt the terrible effects of the racial divide between majority and minority. I know, I have been blabbering on about really nothing, so why do I say this? I want you all to be aware of what is happening all around us. Become aware of the racial comments that are being said around you, that might be dismissed as normal. Look for the gestures that people share, that might be hurtful to some. But with the bad, there is some good. Listen to what people say to each other, specifically to people that are the “same”. Look for the friendly gestures people that are the “same” share. I really just want you all to be aware, look around, listen, use all of your senses, so that you can experience the world is a much more enriched way.
I also want you all to know about this idea of the “Dream”. It’s the ideal lifestyle for any given person, a universal/ideal lifestyle. Basically, it is the ideal, WHITE, lifestyle that is advertised heavily to make people believe that it is attainable. But, when broken down, the dream may not be something that everyone wants and the vision of ideal may not be what everyone sees. Maybe, this idea of the Dream is too stereotypically white. Like Coates says, “…there is the extra burden of living among Dreamers, and there is the extra burden of your country telling you the Dream is just, noble, and real, and you are crazy for seeing the corruption and smelling the sulfur.” (106) We will have to live our lives alongside those who believe in the dream, that is just how it goes. But, there is nothing wrong with that, as long as you don’t let them affect you. “… do not struggle for the Dreamers. Hope for them. Pray for them, if you are so moved. But do not pin your struggle on their conversion.”(151)
This letter seems very open ended, and probably not clear. No closure. But let me conclude all of this. Racism will be something that we will encounter throughout our lives, whether it be to others, our “own kind”, or ourselves. I want you all to be aware of it, and if possible, refrain from partaking in any of it that may possibly hurt others. Learn about the gestures and words exchanged between peoples that may be different from us. You do not have to participate in these gesture and word exchanges, but be aware to learn and accumulate the knowledge of other peoples besides our Chinese selves. The Dream is a great, but white, ideal, but it is not for everyone. The Dream is all around us, whether it be advertised in media or shown by people that are “privileged”. Instead of giving into this idea of the Dream, I want you to create your own idea of the Dream. Look into each one of yourselves for your own ideals, and find which ones speak louder than others. Take those ideals, and apply it to a bigger picture. Maybe instead of calling it the Dream call it, “My Aspiration”. I love you all, even if it is not said and though I don’t always make sense, I always try to help out in any way I could.