Judged at first sight

A young teen is on the bus on her way back home from school and the person she decides to sit next to clutches their belongings when she sits down. This bothers her because she thinks this person decided to judge her. She confronts them to defend herself.

I got a few questions for you. What did they teach you at school about my race? What did they teach you about me?

If you don’t remember, let me refresh your memory. And as a bonus I’ll tell you a little bit about myself. Uhh. . . ! Excuse me, I am trying to talk to you! Okay good, you’re listening. I had a long day; I don’t need this bull. I come from a country where people say good morning to each other, and most of the time we don’t know each other. But here in the U.S.A. when people say good morning to each other they look at you a certain way. Have we forgotten how to treat each other with kindness?

I am Latina. We Latinos along with Blacks, Chinese, Native Americans, and other wonderful cultures that formed this country. . . Hold on, I am getting to the point here!

So, like I was saying, all these people are not what they seem. All Latinos are not stupid, thieves, rapists, high school dropouts, dirty, poor, can’t-speak-English illegal aliens. I could keep on going, but I think you get the idea.

See, what I am is a hard-working student trying to get an education and an opportunity to accomplish my dreams. So, in other words I am just like you, trying to persevere in life, to be able to give the next generation a chance to have a brighter and more successful future!

So, when I get on the bus and see someone clutch their belongings I get angry. To make it more clear to you, I am not interested in your personal belongings.

To me it’s disrespectful because your thoughts about me are completely wrong. I am wise: a working, respectable high school student. I’m rich in love and soul. My people are the true citizens of this country. And I do speak English!

I wake up in the morning to get my little brother up to get ready for school. I’m always attentive about him having everything he needs. Then, I worry about myself to see if I have everything I need for school or whatever I need for that day. Getting on public transportation is difficult, especially in the morning. Clutching your belongings when all of a sudden I sit next to you makes me very uncomfortable and angry.

Yes, I might be a stranger but you don’t have to feel fearful of me. I’m a sociable person; I will say good morning to you and make you smile.

So, “Good morning, how are you today?”

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