I Believe that Racism is the lowest and Most Crucial form of self esteem.

Marina - Hodgkins, Illinois
Entered on February 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: tolerance

On the sixth of April in 1992, I was born into this world in Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, Illinois; as the daughter of Dora and Jose Castro. Before I was even given the chance, I was chosen to be Hispanic, more specifically Mexican. However over the years I grew to understand my heritage, my culture, my traditions, and most importantly my family. The older I got the more I realized how amazing it is to be a Latina. As I flourished with knowledge over such an amazing race, the more outsiders would discriminate against. The majority of my pain came from the harsh stereotypes placed on my people.

As everyone can acknowledge in 2006 immigration was a huge issue, and still is. According to statistics the majority of immigrants pouring into the United States were Mexican, but no one had the decency to point out that there were also a vast amount of other cultures involved as well. A cumulative result of this information led others to believe that certain races were superior in comparison to my race “Mi Raza.” Due to their belief of self perceived superiority, other Hispanic races fell into this dark cell too. I being a Latina was devastated by the horrific result and knew that I had to act against such injustice. I decided to join a program known as NHI. (National Hispanic Institute).

NHI is a program that focuses on the many talents of today’s Hispanic youths and teaches them how to become tomorrow’s leader. In this program I debated over the Latino community and economy. At NHI I discovered how to handle the discriminating remarks that were unjustly thrown onto my people and I managed to become a semifinalist at NHI; even though I walked in with completely wrong information. That was the first time I was introduced to “all nighters.” NHI took place at Augustana College for three days, which was one of the most exciting and educational program I have ever done. NHI taught me that it is okay to show off my culture, and there I discovered who I truly was, “Una Mexicana!”

Every day Latinos are being discriminated against; sadly this not only occurs to Latinos, but to other races as well. I am a victim of Racism, you are a victim of racism, and at some point in our lives we all are victims of people’s illusions of grandeur. I believe that Racism is the lowest and most crucial form of self esteem. I witnessed this harsh reality and I began to fight for not only my culture but for others also. My race is something I am proud to admit of and it should not be accounted against. The beauty of our racially diverse world is mesmerizing, yet not many can open their eyes to such beauty. Where as I, “Yo, si estory orgullosa de mi Raza!”