58 letters on the American Dream from San Marcos University students, San Diego, California, USA
letter 2: Alex

Alex Romero

Professor Anderson


07 October 2007

Living in Southern California

 I have been living in southern California all of my life. I am of Hispanic descent and each of my parents came from places outside California. My father is from El Paso, Texas, and my mother is from Mexico, more specifically the Baja California area. Honestly, I do love living in California. The weather is wonderful and there it is an amazing place to live especially if you like the beach. The one thing I will say for California itself is there is a day-to-day struggle with racial acceptance. Not just for Hispanics, but for Asian Americans, African-Americans, and Indian Americans. Society has become so narrow-minded and not accepting of new cultures and experiences that people coming to America have to offer. Personally, I was brought up in an environment where there were few other Hispanic families, but of those families there was no real struggle fitting in with those who were not Hispanic. When I was younger, as a child myself and for most of my friends, we were taught to be accepting. It was instilled in us that just because of the color of your skin or the money your parents make and the nice things you have make you no different than anyone else. Therefore there was no reason to feel discrimination. As I got older, racial jokes and slurs became more accepting. The more common they became, the more common racial crimes were being committed and violence streamed from this issue. I have been exposed to situations where people are making jokes and although it may be cute or a bit funny, there comes a point where it is no longer funny and it becomes offensive. The problem here is that most people do not know when to stop and how much is acceptable. At this point in time it would be impossible to be rid of all racial discrimination in almost any society in the United States. Southern California especially is one of the most diverse places in the country. For myself, I love the diversity. It is amazing to be able to be exposed to different cultures and learn traditions and culture. In California no matter where you go you are sure to be exposed to a wide variety of culture, which many people are not accustomed to or open to. In which case it only evokes a sense of discrimination and racial differences. As I had mentioned before, I enjoy living among people of different backgrounds, each with something new and exciting to offer. The sad part is that not everyone is open minded or willing to accept people who are “different”.