Why do so many Americans forget what our country was orginally built upon? Immigrants from many countries settled here for economic reasons and to escape religious prosecution and political struggle. But now, over 200 years after the birth of our nation, we still hear stereotypical, racist and prejudicial remarks about certain ethnic cultures.
Depending on the geographical location, the prejudice varies. California residents are often quick to blame Mexicans for all that is wrong in the country. Floridians, many times, make derogatory remarks about Cubans. It’s not uncommon for New York City residents to make racist remarks about Puerto Ricans. Often stereotypes are so commonly used, they are assumed to be factual. According to Gustavo Arellano, author of “Ask A Mexican”, “what Americans know about Mexicans are tequilla, borritos and illegal alien savages.” They fail to accept that Mexicans are hard working members of society who, like other immigrants (including their very own ancestors) who came before them, are simply looking for all the opportunities that native born Americans take for granted. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the way African-Americans are still being treated in the U.S. This ethnic group didn’t come here willingly and are still victims of intolerance and prejudice. Take a look at New Orleans and you’ll have to admit that, if these were whites, these American citizens would never have been ignored and left to die.
Is prejudice something that will never go away? Are Americans always going to be mistrusting and unaccepting of every group of new immigrants? Is this just a right of passage that each group has to endure before becoming accepted as a true American? How sad that prejudice has become an American tradition.