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Personal Discrimination Experience
Discrimination is a big problem for everyone. I think that there are many kinds of discrimination all over the world. We have different personalities, nationalities, religions, family status, backgrounds, and so on. I think that all of those differences are caused by discrimination. Have I ever been discriminated against? To tell the truth, I do not remember any experiences of being discriminated against. I might have, but it must not have been a serious problem for me. However, after I moved to Hawaii, there was one time that I really felt uncomfortable. In the following essay, I will give more details about my experience, and I would like to think about why such a thing happened.
First, I will explain my experience. My unforgettable experience happened at a certain supermarket. One day, I went to the supermarket. I was standing in line at the checkout counter, watching a cashier and a customer. The cashier said to the customer “Hi” very friendly. Then the customer replied, and they had a short conversation. I was looking at them, and I wanted to imitate them. However, when my turn came, the cashier did not say anything to me. She did not even say “Hi” or “Hello”. I was shocked and a little upset because her attitude was quite different between me and the other customers. Although I felt discriminated against, I still shop there because this supermarket is very useful for me, and I found that not all of the cashiers treat me differently. Also, I would like to try to speak to them even if they do not speak to me.
Now, I would like to think about why such a thing happened. Later, I found out why she behaved like that. This is because I am Japanese. She must have thought that since I am Japanese, I can not speak English. I think that many people have a stereotype that most Japanese can not speak English. For that reason, Americans sometimes might avoid speaking to Japanese in English. Therefore, I felt that she was unfriendly, and that she discriminated against me because I am Japanese.
In conclusion, this incident became my first experience with discrimination. At that time, I was sad and felt uncomfortable. Also, I thought about why I was treated differently. Then, I noticed that stereotypes sometimes lead to discrimination. Therefore, we should not be restricted by stereotypes. In addition, we all have different personalities. We do not need to accept all of the different personalities, but I think that it is important for everyone to understand each other. Moreover, if we can understand and respect them as individualities, I think that discrimination will become less common.
© KCC - ESOL 197-0 Students, Summer 2005