How People View the World

Mila Meintsma, Staff Writer

I was talking to my stepmom the other day. We were in an argument, and I said that people up here act the way they do because they live up here. She told me ¨that hurts my feeling because I don’t act like them, and I live up here¨. To a certain degree, she’s right; it’s not fair to generalize people like that. But, at the same time, I know I’m right. I grew up in Minneapolis. I’ve heard how much discrimination my black friends face; I’ve seen homeless people begging in the streets every turn I take. I’ve seen Spanish-speaking communities treated as less than others because they can’t pronounce words the same way. 

Whenever I see those things, it reinforces my beliefs. I see it first hand, and it breaks my heart. It’s easy for people who live up here to not care about how they affect the homeless, Spanish speakers, African Americans, or Asians, because they don’t see how their judgment affects these communities. My best friend in the whole world is 99% Asian. When covid started, we would walk into a store, and people would throw slurs at her. Although she put on a brave face, it was hard on her. 

 It’s easy to call homeless people names like lazy and drug addicts, but if you’ve seen a person take your dogs’ leftover pup cups out of the garbage and lick it, then you might see things differently. Yes, this is after your dog has already drooled on it.

 It’s easy to say ¨Asians all have the virus¨ when you haven’t seen your 16-year-old best friend crying over the hate she gets just because she was born somewhere different. 

It’s easy to call BML a terrorist group when you haven’t seen your mixed brother get things thrown at him and called racial slurs. I grew up in the cities, but I also grew up here. Life’s easier here. There’s a shield of how the rest of the world operates. But, unfortunately, it feels as if most people that live here think this is all there is. 

My stepmom was correct when she said it’s not fair for me to generalize everyone who lives here. Still, it is reasonable to assume most who live here don’t understand how their words affect the groups they are talking about. I’ve seen so many different sides of the story. 

I’ve seen my ex-best friend talk about how offended she was that the girl in the locker room didn’t tell her she was lesbian, which offended her because apparently, she needs to tell everyone her sexual orientation. On the other hand, I’ve seen people punch someone in the face for a misunderstanding that the kid interpreted as racist. I’ve seen both extremes. Neither of them is good; extreme is never good, but understanding all situations that people go through will always benefit everyone.