University of Phoenix
Although the discrimination among Latinos and other minorities have decreased a lot, there is still much evidence that shows the contrary.
My name is Juan Montoya. I was born and raised in Colombia, in South America. At the age of 23 I moved with my family to this country. I have lived in Florida, Maryland and since last November here in Arizona. I have to say that all three places are very different. But I will tell you about my experience here in Arizona. Arizona is a beautiful state, awesome weather and incredible sunsets. One would think that to be a Latino in Arizona must be easy and that we would have all the benefits we could think of. Well, whoever thinks that is wrong. Based on personal experience and information I have read, Latinos and minorities are still discriminated. Let me tell you how.
One of the first things I noticed when I moved here was that the members of my community are different from me. The vast majority are older and many of them are part of families with children. I am married but do not have children yet. I also find differences in the types of food we eat. When I am at work I see my coworkers eating their lunch from restaurants or fast food restaurants. I, on the other hand, prefer to eat home cooked meals. Even our home decorations are different. I have noticed that in my community they like to add a lot of decorations in their homes; lots of antiques. I prefer simple and modern decorations and also decorations that reflect my culture. However, as a community I see some, although few similarities. We are similar because many of them are interested in sports just like me. Also, they like to recycle and are sociable and friendly. They enjoy the outdoors, walking outside or just hanging out with their families and friends at a park on the weekends. Those are the things that we have in common.
Then I noticed that the leaders of my community view Latinos and other minority groups as a “problem”. What I have read on the newspapers and what I have seen in the community is a racial discrimination against Latinos and other minorities. We are not treated with respect. Maybe is because they think that we are all illegal and that we are always causing problems everywhere we go. You do not see a lot of positive news about us in the media. However, every time we are involved in something negative such as fights or robbery it quickly makes the news. I think that immigrants come to this country to work and succeed and be better people, not to cause problems. However, I think that the lack of support from government agencies and the lack of aid, leads to depression and anxiety and that is why some of them end up causing trouble. And then there is the media. The vast majority of staff working in the media such as television and radio only focuses on news relevant to the public who speaks English and are Americans. Although there are many Latinos on the local news, the news that is presented is primarily for the Americans. The interests of the Latinos are not represented as much in the media. Latinos have their own newspapers or channels and that is how we know about the news.
So, Latinos might get in trouble for the wrong reasons, but then we have those who get in trouble for no apparent reason. By late 1990s US border patrol was still conducting searches for illegal immigrants, and many of those detained were US born citizens. (Carlile, 1998). This shows that they were not searching in a legal way, they were probably doing racial profiling, which means that they were assuming who was Latino based on how they look. This is still happening to this day. When I went to California for a weekend, I had to pass about three border patrol stations. They were not asking questions, or asking for documents, they were just looking at us. I guess my wife and I look “Americans” or do not look like most Latinos because