58 letters on the American Dream from San Marcos University students, San Diego, California, USA
letter 46: Whitney

Family Immigration

I was born and raised on the island of Maui. My mother and her parents were also born in Hawaii. As for my father, he was born in Kentucky and moved to Hawaii with my grandparents when he was about 10 years old. In Hawaii, “white” people are considered to be minority and are discriminated on. Many locals use the word “haole”, which means foreigner. As a child, my father was racially abused, but as he grew older, he began to receive the respect from other local boys. Although I am half white, coming from a Hawaiian heritage, allowed me to be accepted into the culture of the islands. Till this day, I still see discrimination occurring in the islands. Many locals aren’t too fond of all the “haole’s” crowding the beaches and buying all of the sacred land.

This is the first time I have ever moved off the island of Maui. Living on an island all of your life really restricts the possibilities that the main land can offer. Moving to California really opened up a window of opportunity for me to explore the world and change my life. I am really glad that I chose to live in California, especially in SoCal. The area is really nice and the weather resembles home. Another great aspect is that is very diverse. Hawaii is full of different cultures and ethnicities, so moving to a place with the same qualities is very comforting. Since I have been here I haven’t felt any type of racial discrimination. Everyone that I have met so far is very open minded and get excited when they find out that I am from Hawaii.

Response to Photograph

 This picture represents a lot and has a great amount of meaning behind it. First of all there is the sun and the city, with the American flag in the background. To me, the sun represents a new day and a new start. Everyday is something new and your life can change each day. The flag represents freedom and that anyone who is a part of that city has the freedom accomplish their dreams. The wall represents a struggle and the need to overcome fear. Many people can’t get past that wall but when you do, it’s a chance at a better future. All of the different groups of people represent different cultures and ethnicities. Many of the groups consist of a whole family including children. I think that the picture is trying to say that many parents want to make a better future for their children and allow them to grow up in an environment that allows the freedom of choice. Relating the freedom of choice, the group on the left illustrates a religious portrait. It resembles Christianity and portrays the thought that in America there is the freedom of exercise and establishment. The man with the roots on his shoes holds a great amount of symbolic meaning. I think that he is trying to say that although he is breaking from his cultural roots and moving on, he is still going to take his heritage and traditions along with him. Even though he is moving to America, he will never forget where he originally came from.