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Social Injustice is Real

 Rodney King, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Jayne Thompson are ones who have lost their lives or suffered because of their skin color. Racial injustice is real. When I moved to Richmond, Virginia early in my teaching career, I faced discrimination at school districts that I used to be work for. 

          I emphasize “used to” for a reason. I had applied for the head coaching position for Varsity Volleyball but was turned down because of my background. I previously had the experience but since I was Asian American, I was offered the assistant coaching position instead. This discrimination was not obvious to me at the time because I was so naive, but I accepted the position thinking that I would be given a chance to be promoted when the opportunity came.
           After five years as an assistant coach, the opportunity opened up again. The Head Coach of the girls’ Varsity Volleyball Team retired. I thought I was going to be given the opportunity again because I had earned it but the answer was “NO”.  I simply was turned down because I was not the same race as the decision-maker and this is an example of inequity.  I did not understand at the time but as I reflected on why I was turned down, I realized that I was living in the City of Richmond.  Richmond was the home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis during the Civil War.

                Another time was when I worked at a rural school East of Richmond.  The community complained that I didn’t know how to speak English.  At the time, I didn’t even know that there were complaints about me.  I found out later that people in the community were questioning my qualifications because I was Asian American and that was not common in that town. There were allegations against me.  I just didn’t understand why people would hate me because of my skin color.  I realized that there are people in this world that judge you for how you look and not for who you are.

             The Black Lives Matter protest has been the voice for racial injustice.  In 2020, we are still facing what existed almost 100 years ago.  We need to continue to be proactive and let people know that we want equity in this country.  The United States of America is the land of opportunity full of immigrants.  That is how this country was formed.  We must continue to educate those who are ignorant and do not understand about diversity.  

 

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