Culture of Exclusion

From Odd One Out,
Culture of Exclusion

I walk down corridors filled with hate-filled glances, their eyes dripping contempt for all that they deem in their minds as lesser beings. Of the hordes of moving bodies, of young adolescents, I am the least of all beings. I am nothing, except when they choose to see me. It seems that I exist in a world of extremes: I am either nothing or I am something; I am either unseen or my presence is offensive. There is no middle ground.

There are no Hispanic students at my school. There is black and there is white, and one lone Japanese exchange student. 49% black and 51% white. You either are or you aren’t. I am most undoubtedly not, but technically I am. No cultural groups will claim me. My mother doesn’t have to worry about me falling in with the wrong crowd. There is no crowd that will allow me to breathe the same air as them, let alone be a part of them.

I walk down the hallways with all my senses tuned in different directions, like a radio searching for a signal. I am a paradox. In a setting of this or that, I am neither here nor there. Yet, I am in a constant hunt for everything. I have no teachers, but everyone teaches me something. I learn on my own.

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