Bigotry is Bigotry: An Analysis Through Experience

Bigotry was something that was always condoned in my school. Now, I’m from a sheltered, upper-class town in Connecticut. By all means, the racism here isn’t the stereotypical Confederate-flag waving redneck type wearing “MAGA” hats and yelling racial slurs (at least not in public) that you’d perhaps see in the Deep South - but it’s just as bad. The people here are just more “polished” about it, I suppose- if inherent racism and chauvinistic ideologies are polished.

Growing up as an Indian female, I wholeheartedly recognize my privilege over underrepresented minorities. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean my life has been all rainbows and smiles. My mom, who’s single-handedly raised my sister and I— is a Hindu. Understandably, in a predominantly Catholic and Jewish suburb of Hartford, in a school with minimal racial and socioeconomic diversity, this is an issue to many. While I personally consider myself more agnostic, and respect all beliefs, I’ve heard my fair share of snarky comments. In fact, the guy who sat next to me in Algebra in eighth grade vehemently exclaimed, and I quote, “Unlike you, I don’t swear! I’m a Christian!” Yet, he didn’t keep this energy when he “jokingly” threatened to r*pe my Algebra teacher’s daughter if he didn’t get an A on the next quiz. Everyone heard it, but no one did anything. Why? Because he conforms into the mold. He’s not a minority. He’s an affluent, Caucasian male at my school with a parent who’s a Dartmouth grad. He fits right into the Glastonbury bubble.

Minorities at my school aren’t exactly encouraged to utilize their voice either. Why? Because if you respond to someone else’s prejudiced comment, your culture and your personal beliefs will be mocked. To be quite honest with you, I don’t see the incentive to being worried about something like that. I’m already aware that I’m going to be mocked regardless, so might as well go out with a bang, am I right? I’d rather advocate for other oppressed people and educate the incompetent ones and be made fun of than be the human equivalent to La Croix water.

I'm a sophomore at Glastonbury High School in Connecticut, my aspiration is to become a public interest lawyer for the ACLU.

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