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Race and You

Essay by   •  February 4, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,446 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,443 Views

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The town I grew up in is Show Low, Arizona. Surrounding Show Low are many small neighboring towns. These towns all come together to form the White Mountains. Most of the citizens of my community are of a Caucasian background. There are also some different minority groups that come from different background that also live there. The majority of the non-Caucasian residents are of Native Americans decent and Mexican decent. There are Native Americans because of the Apache Reservation that lies to the East, and the Mexicans have immigrated because of the vast amount of construction jobs. The mixture of these different groups has caused many different problems with in the community of the White Mountains. There lies within the community old roots of prejudice and discrimination towards people of different cultures. Not only does prejudice still run high, but has also been a hindrance to the progress of the community, which has not just affected the progress of the community, but most likely the traditions will be passed down of prejudice and discrimination to the children of Show Low and the rest of the White Mountains.

One major organization within the town the town of Show Low that you could probably see discrimination or prejudice each day is in school systems. They have been largely affected by the prejudice of some students and parents inside of the White Mountains. There was a heated debate my junior year of High School that was all started by a discriminating chant that some kids from the school were yelling during a basketball game against a neighboring town also part of the White Mountains. Because of this chant Show Low High School was put on an athletic probation. Mark Shaffer, a writer for the Arizona Republic wrote an article entitled, “Angry members of the White Mountain Apache Tribal Council are scheduled to meet with Show Low school officials on March fifth to discuss a chant directed toward tribal members and a suspected assault at a pair of high school basketball games.” He continued to mention, “More than two dozen students from Show Low High School stood and yelled, вЂ?We pay taxes, yes we do. We pay taxes, how about you?’ during a timeout at a home game on the fourth of February against Alchesay High School, of Whiteriver.”( Shaffer, 2003) Not only was that chant discriminating, but it also caused bad feelings between neighboring cities. The discriminating chant also threw off the State Championship basketball tournament in which Alchesay and Show Low met in the first round of the state Class 3A basketball playoffs. That game Show Low was supposed to have been the home team, but ended up having to be moved 50 miles away to Eagar because of the fears of more trouble being caused. There have been other incidents that show the prejudice of some members of the White Mountains. A school mate of mine was put on school suspension because he threw a full cup of soda from his truck window at a Native American student walking back to school. Most fights and violent acts were usually caused by prejudice acts such as name calling and the downgrading of ones background. My opinion about the whole ordeal is that the racism was not just something that just recently began within our community, but it has old roots. I remember my grandpa telling me about when he was in school and the Caucasian students always teased the Native American students simply just because they were Native Americans. I think that the old roots are what made this incident what it has become. I have heard that chant many times from other schools, but when Show Low chanted it I think that it pushed some old feelings over the edge and became a hurtful incident.

Not only in the educational system do you see the difference between backgrounds and race, but also in the work place. Many natives get the chance to work with people from other backgrounds and lifestyles. The White Mountains have been in the top ten cities of Arizona for growth in the last ten years and because of this growth the construction job market has become enormous. With so many people wanting to make money from the booming income there has been a vast amount of new construction businesses opening. From so many new construction businesses opening the people want and need cheap labor. Most construction workers in the area have hired on Mexicans because they work hard for cheap. From the job openings the area has brought in new races and cultures to the White Mountains. In some instances members in the community treat the Mexicans kind of rash. There are many instances where an employer will not pay the Mexicans as much just because they are Mexicans, but is doing the same job as another person who is getting paid more. Mexicans usually live in the poor part of town and live in small homes with the whole family there. Now there is a new law that states that anyone that has hired illegal immigrants will have to pay a



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