As I was going through my day today, thinking about what I should write for this blog post, something struck me that I had not really realized before. I went in to meet with my chemistry professor, and I realized that he was white (I had obviously known the color of his skin, but it was the first time I really thought about it). I sat back and began to talk to him, and slowly realized that most of the professors I had here are white. In fact, most of the people in my life with authority roles, people who I would look up to and aspire to be like, are white. My teachers, doctors, tv personalities, celebrities, or anyone really who I would try and reach a similar level of success are white. We read about all the advantages that we (as white citizens) inherently have over minorities in America and I truly think that this is one of them. Never in my life have I failed to see someone that looks like me in any sort of position. My parents have always told me the classic “you can do anything you want if you work hard enough” and largely that is true. I see “me” everywhere I look in all sorts of jobs imaginable, and that is simply not the case for a minority, especially someone who grows up in a naturally disadvantaged area. Role models are an integral part of life as they give kids hopes, dreams, and possibilities. When an African American kid sees that all of his favorite actors, writers, etc are white, he naturally thinks that is something he cannot easily do. Take someone who was born and raised in Harlem. His schooling is poor and he does not work as hard at it as he could because of the environment in which he was brought up. His role models are the people that look like him and they are more than likely athletes or rappers. So, he plays sports or makes music trying to be like the people he looks up to because he does not have as wide of a role model selection that the white kid who grew up down the street has. This is a relatively easy issue to spot but a harder one to fix. It has to start with a systematic acceptance and push for diversity across all facets of work and entertainment, and I hope we can reach that point soon.

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