Current Events Oral Presentation
A prominent theme in my novel is racism. Racism is the belief that one race is superior over another, and has been an issue in the world for a very long time. It can take place in many forms, such as segregation, discrimination, and hate. An example is racial segregation, where African Americans were separated from whites in schools and other public places. Nowadays, racial segregation is not common anymore, but people of all races still experience bullying or are targets of hateful comments due to their skin colour and ethnicity. In the novel, Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety by Ann Y. K. Choi, Mary and her family are discriminated against because of their Korean culture. At the beginning of the novel, Mary recalls how often their store gets robbed, and not only are their items stolen, they are also threatened with rude names, mistakenly labelled as Chinese, and made fun of for not speaking English. Mary and her family are aware that they are easy targets because of their race and immigrant status, but are unable to do anything about it. The picture represents how in this situation, they are backed into a corner with no way out. Reporting the robberies and racist offenses to the police would mean bad publicity and less customers for their store, so the only thing they are able to do is endure it. Although the issue of racism has improved significantly since the 1980’s, when the events of the novel took place, there are still many events related to racism in the world today. A recent example occurred in the summer of 2019, in Richmond, British Columbia. Canada is known for its multiculturalism and diversity, so many people were shocked and enraged when the video surfaced. An Asian family wanted to speak to a Caucasian woman for parking over the line and touching their car. The woman refused to move her car and insults them by calling them racial slurs, accusing them of not being able to drive and telling them to go back to China where they belong. The wife did not want to do anything about the racist actions because her three year old daughter was beside her but she did take a short video, which was used as proof for the RCMP and also shared online. It gained a huge reaction from people all across Canada agreeing that it was completely unacceptable. However, events like this happen more than you think, even in our society today. Thankfully, there are many things that can be done to reduce this. If racist actions are occuring in public, like what happened with the family in the parking lot, do not be afraid to stand up for yourself or whoever is being targeted. Most schools are teaching children about the repercussions of racism that have happened in the past. It is especially important to educate children so they learn at a young age that these actions are wrong, and the same mistakes are not repeated again. Another way to help is to stop the spreading of harmful and racist stereotypes. Prejudice against a race or culture can eventually lead to racism, just like how the woman in the video made fun of the stereotype of how Asians cannot drive. With just one small step at a time, everyone can help each other understand the effects of racism and become powerful enough to change the world for the better.