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Which is more important: making a point or not offending people? Although people’s feelings matter and are important to be careful with, people should be able to say their argument and stay with it. If someone believes in something, they should not have to tip-toe around people’s feelings to get their own opinion out. They should be confident that what they are saying matters and they know that. People, such as politicians, have to watch everything they say. It is their career to say their opinions and views on important topics.
However, can this happen in the lives of ordinary people?
Everyday people must watch what they say because people could get offended. To get an insight into how kids of color must grow up with a racist environment, Gene Luen Yang in his graphic novel American Born Chinese shows us what a lot of interactions are like for people of color. Jin’s teacher says, “‘Class, I’d like us all to give a warm Mayflower welcome to your new friend and classmate Jing Jang!’ Jin correcting her saying, ‘Jin Wang.
’ ‘Jin Wang!’ she says. ‘He and his family moved to our neighborhood all the way from China!’ ‘San Francisco.’ Jin says. ‘San Francisco! Yes, Timmy?’ The teacher says as she picks Timmy. ‘My momma says Chinese people eat dogs.’ The teacher says ‘Now be nice Timmy! I’m sure Jin doesn’t do that! In fact, Jin’s family probably stopped that sort of thing as soon as they came to the United States!’” (Yang, 2006, pgs.
30-31). In the daily life of a Chinese child in a mainly white community, people make stereotypes about them and come off as rude and ignorant. In a lot of people of color lives, they get offended by matters people say to them. A child, however, does not necessarily know that someone was being rude to them. Their only response is to politely correct them.
Society gives these people stereotypes and a lot of people do not say anything. In the same breath, the person who got offended will go off and tell other people what happened, making it seem that the racist person was unstoppable. People need to learn how to speak their own opinion, especially if you could get offended by something a person says. In the novel Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Auggie talks about how easy his life would be if no one could see each other’s faces. “I wish every day could be Halloween. We could all wear masks all the time. Then we could walk around and get to know each other before we got to see what we looked like under the masks” (Palacio 2012). Auggie is saying that if nobody saw what anyone else looks like and got to know their personality before seeing their face, everyone would be much nicer to each other.
In the novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, the white football star at Junior’s all-white school named Roger, is extremely racist toward him. “Did you know that Indians are living proof that niggers fuck buffalo?” (Alexie, Pg. 64). Junior’s reaction to his racist comment is a way to respond to racism. Not necessarily the nicest way, but a way nevertheless; he punches Roger in the face. Violence is not necessarily the best way to handle racism, but he has the right idea. He knew that what that person said was racist, got offended and spoke, although not verbally, his opinion. More people should feel free to speak their opinions on important matters without caring what other people think.
People should be allowed to say their opinions without caring about what society thinks. Us, as a society, have put so many stereotypes on so many people that they are scared to say their minds. It is very important to say what you feel when you feel it in an orderly manner. We are so scared of judgment that we forget that. We have the right to speak or mind. Yes, people are going to get mad because not everyone agrees on everything, but it still gives us a chance to get our idea or thought out there.
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