The Full Picture: A Student Perspective on Ethnic Studies
Guest Post by Odin McDermott
I think learning about ethnic studies is very important and very useful! Just ignoring so much of the population's history is honestly just selfish and ignorant! To move forward and become better as a species, we need to learn about each other more and love and accept each other's differences, not fear them.
Let's say you were learning about how the body works. To get the full picture and really understand everything, you need to learn about every part. If you just skip certain parts and just ignore them, you don't get a lot of the picture. If you learned about your entire body, you get a better understanding of how you work, and can improve yourself with that newfound information.
Also, learning about your own culture might give you a deeper connection to your family or community. Learning about the your roots is really important, and can connect you to a lot of things or inspire you. You could have role models growing up that shape who you are.
As a person who has actually lived in another country for a year, I can say that it was very helpful. I lived in Italy for a year, where everyone is a lot more laid back and relaxed than I was used too. Being probably the most stressed out human being to ever live, it was actually really helpful and taught me to not worry about things as much. Maybe other people can learn other things from other cultures, and then improve themselves! You can never view yourself completely unbiased, and you can never view your culture or way of life completely unbiased. If you learn about other cultures, you might learn about the flaws in yours and try to help yourself and others around you and improve in a people as a whole.
Finally, if we all learned about the world in general, there would be a lot less violence to other races. This is a pretty topical issue, and one of the big reasons behind it is racial stereotypes and ignorance. If we learned about different cultures and ethnicities and kept an open mind, there wouldn't be the fear and paranoia that caused a lot of deaths. So just keep an open mind and make an effort to learn about other cultures, in school or otherwise. Because it will be worth the effort.
Odin is a 9th-grade student at University Laboratory School in Honolulu, HI. He loves dogs, video games, and a ton of other nerdy stuff. He also loves watching TV and reading, and sometimes doing both at the same time (which leads to him being very confused).