BY OMAR BENNETT
Night falls and the rain thumps against the air conditioner. The wind’s gust blows an earthy scent that surrounds the living room. It fuels me...
With red eyes and teeth clenched, I lean over the desk, typing the introductory paragraph as if under a trance. I slide out a blank sheet of paper from within my folder and draw several bullet points. I label each bullet point for a possible body paragraph topic. It is 1am. My brain begs for sleep as I begin the first paragraph.
I am an NYC student and what they call an “Afro Rican,” African American and Puerto Rican. It may be surprising to you, the reader, that I being a “double minority,” am meticulous, willing to sacrifice my well being in order to compete, and concerned when it comes to my education. Statistically speaking, a study from the school group Families for Excellent Schools reported that 90 public schools did not pass a single black or Hispanic student on last year’s common core exam. Though it did not specify how many students failed, this is an inexcusable fact. Not one single Black or Hispanic student passed in these schools. There are an infinite amount of reasons why this could have occurred such as poverty, stereotypes, laziness etc. But what it really boils down to is how we as a society judge a student's performance upon race. From statistics, reports, or T.V shows, we constantly judge or associate a letter or number grade with a person's race. This is a social injustice that hinders the future.
Why not be another statistic? Why stay up late to finish an essay, when you have friends that want to “chill” with you? Why live for the future when you can live in the now? I hear you loud and clear. While it does seem to be the ideal life choice, the near future will only bear regret. Without any vision of the future, you will be blind .You will be lost in the darkness and can only hope to be lucky enough to have individuals guide you. There will be a constant struggle day by day.
Do not let society’s stereotypes dictate your future. No matter what grade you have, always aim higher. Better yourself. I aspire to be an Environmentalist. Not just to care for the relationship between man and nature. I want to save it. It is my dream to be the individual who halts man’s destructive path on mother nature. What’s your dream?
We should not accept this social injustice as a fact of life. I refuse to be another statistic. I am going to resist Earth’s gravitational pull and reach for the stars. I want to be more than just the “Afro Rican.” To those who are reading and are a minority, I plead with you with all of my heart: be the horse with the blinders, ignore the distractions and stay focused on the path. It’s 4am. Finished and off to bed.