#StopTheDivision - Let's Change Together
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Politics and Activism

#StopTheDivision - Let's Change Together

“All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.” - Alexandre Dumas

#StopTheDivision - Let's Change Together

First, my name is Kaitlin; formally known as Nhung Thi Tuyet Nguyen. I was born and raised in an orphanage in Phu Yen, Vietnam, and later adopted by an older white couple. My mother works in the medical field and my father is a deputy sheriff/former police officer. Growing up and adjusting to American culture was challenging. I remember all the other kids in my classes and extra curricular groups commenting on my tan skin, or my squinty eyes, the fact that my parents are a different color, and how my father worked in law enforcement. But let me tell you, not once did I, nor my family, see color as an issue. They saw it as a blessing. They still treated me with the same respect, treated my friends of other nationalities with respect, and stood up for me whenever someone gave us slack about having a "yellow" child. I was taught by my white parents that every color is beautiful, and everyone, no matter their nationality, is to be shown the same respect I expect.

So I've been there.

I've been racially profiled, violated, and questioned further due to the color of my skin. I've been dehumanized, spoken down to and disrespected. I've seen others face the same oppression due to their looks, sexual orientation, religion, profession, etc. I get that it's saddening, ignorant, and very much racist.

You can't change someone's ignorance.

People will have opposing views, people will try to challenge you and your ideas. Opposing views lead to debate, the ability to understand subjects in multiple perspectives, long-term thinking, and importantly, change. Just because someone has an opposite point of view on something does not make them wrong.

Secondly, people will talk down to you. No matter your race: Black, white, yellow, pink, red, no matter your religion, no matter your sexual orientation, no matter your occupation, you will be spoken to as if you are less of a human sometime in your life. Again, we can't change someone's opinions, ignorance, or selfishness. However, you do know your worth, you know you are a big contribution in your community and you know you can make a difference.

The best we can do, for both ourselves and our community, is stand up respectfully, for what we believe in and prove why we believe this way. Show off your research, show off your skills! Show off who you are and why you feel passionate about making a change. Your voice matters, YOU matter.

As an Asian-American there are specific academic, professional and behavioral standards/values I try to uphold in honor of myself and my family. These standards may be important to me, but are sometimes taken as a joke to outsiders. Some of you might also have something similar - you have specific sets of values that you follow in order to make yourself and your family proud, or goals set for yourself to ensure you will achieve greatness in the future. Others may not understand, but you work hard, anyway.Please, don't lose sight on your goals. Don't forget why you're fighting and who you're fighting for.

Everyone deserves to be heard, but the general public will only listen, consider and change if we do this respectfully and calm. We can't throw racial slurs around, we can't talk down to anyone, we can't name call, we can't lash out in violence, we can't demand to be heard. Stop the division. Stop treating people like they are less of a human because of their skin color, sexual orientation, religion, profession, etc. We can't expect to move forward, if we refuse to let go, change and grow from something in our past.

However, we can contribute in positive ways to benefit ourselves, our family, our community, and our country. We can listen to each other and move forward together.

Stop the division.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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