Local high school students research ethnicity and racism

This is the sixth of eight write-ups from freshman students at Manual Arts High School. Some participated in weeks-long projects about animal abuse, drugs, gangs, prostitution and racism. Part of their projects included surveys they created for their communities. After they gathered information, all of the groups presented their findings at a school presentation. Two days later, each group wrote about their experiences during an Intersections writing workshop.


By: Jorge Arana, Sergio Corona, Rayshawn Holifield and Mayra Romero

When we learned we were going to have a Community Action Research project and present a PowerPoint presentation to the school about a deficit in our community, we were not confident about the project. Two major deficits that influence us are animal abuse and racism. We chose racism because we believe that people need to know that we are all the same, and we wanted to prove that no race is superior and no ethnicity is inferior to any other.

Just because we look different or have different believes does not mean we should be treated differently.

During our research, we found that some people did not take racism seriously, but we also found that a majority of people actually cared. We interviewed two parents to get their opinions. Most of our questions revolved around how racism affects our communities and what we can do to change it.

We learned that we cannot stop racism, but there are ways people can reduce harm. Many people affected by racism are people of color, including African Americans, Latinos and Hispanics, Native Americans and Asian Americans.

African Americans were the most affected in South Central Los Angeles. They are treated as if they have no value, and they are victims of police brutality. Some African Americans decided to have an uprising in Watts in 1965 and a rebellion of what happened with Rodney King in 1992. During those two situations, police were permitted to beat and kill African Americans. This is where some gangs originated from.

The tactic we want to use to reduce the impact of racism is organize community. We want to gather people who have been affected by racism and figure out a way to stand up together to protest and fight for our rights to be treated equally. Another tactic that we plan to use is propaganda. We could paint a mural on our school walls of people from different races socializing and working together through conflicts.