Go back 

On growing up

in affluent isolation

Dear Jacob Holdt:                  
As a student at Westminster College, I recently attended your slide presentation. As you said in your introduction, the program portrayed a horrifying side of American life which I am unaccustomed to seeing. The portrayal of the oppressed blacks triggered a flood of emotions from inside myself. I was saddened by the sight of such poverty. I was angered by the amount of racism still present in the United States. I was also enlightened to the desperate situation of racism and prejudice. 

Living an the affluent West Side of Fort Worth, I am not totally familiar with the plight of the oppressed black man. I have never seen sights such as those in your slide show. The worst I have seen is the housing projects on the South side of town. These projects are run down, but not nearly to the extent of the "slave shacks" show. These buildings house the poor of Fort Worth, but in comparison to the poverty in your slides the residents of these projects would be considered wealthy. 

The oppression of these people is appalling. I thought that the prejudices against the black man had quelled some time ago. This is an obvious display of my own ignorance. Coming from a wealthy area, I have had limited interaction with the black population. My high school had very few blacks, and the ones that did go there were gang members from the prospects. The result of this was that I immediately classified all blacks as inferior. This was probably the most influential factor in shaping my prejudices. 

The scenes of the poor blacks living in houses smaller than my own room, causes me to want to do something for them. While I do not know exactly what I could do for them, I know that the first thing that must be done is for me to change my way of thinking. While I do not consider myself a racist (to the extent of the Ku Klux Klan), I do admit that I am prejudice against certain people. Most of these prejudices are formed through stereotypes. I often go on appearance and first impression when encountering someone new. Thanks to your slide show I know that I must get to know the person before I determine what they are like. By this simple beginning maybe I will be able start helping the oppressed people of the world by changing people's attitudes. 




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