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Erin LumKelly Hensley English 06 December 2017Argumentative Letter (Final)- Draft #3Dear Mills Administration, My name is Erin Lum, and I am a freshman in AS English at Mills. I truly believe that racism has become an important problem in society and affects many of your students. I understand why parents and teachers may argue that having conversations surrounding racism is inappropriate and exhausting, however, discussing racism will provide new learning opportunities for students that they would not have elsewhere. Therefore, an assembly regarding racism should be held before the ninth grade class in order to bring awareness to one of the largest global issues people face, better prepare students for their future, and to effectively address racism.To begin, an assembly on racism would bring to light one of the most important issues people face today: racial inequality. According to niche.com (a website that allows people to explore different schools and neighborhoods), 60% of Mills students have an Asian heritage, while only 0.3% of the population remains of African Americans. As an Asian student at Mills, I believe that this lack of diversity causes many students to become oblivious to the social injustices many have to face on a daily basis. This lack of understanding can often lead to bullying, but if the administration were to hold an assembly, students would become more empathetic towards others. When our English AS class interviewed Assistant Principal Feit, on December 1st, 2017, she recalled that when she first moved to the U.S. from Brazil, she was often mocked by other students because of her Brazilian accent. Many of the students who bullied Ms. Feit likely did not know the challenges she was facing, as someone who had recently moved from a foreign country and has a limited understanding of English. If students were better educated about racial injustices, many would be more accepting and empathetic to students of different backgrounds. Is that not what the Mills administration wants for their students? I understand that racism is not very apparent in our community and school; however, when students graduate, they will be exposed to racial injustices in everyday life and in the workplace. When I walk around the Mills campus, I do not see any outright discriminatory behavior. However, in an interview with Ms. Feit, it was stated that racism is frequently reported in the front office, usually caused by insensitive remarks by teachers and students. This in turn makes students uncomfortable, prompting them to report it. If an assembly was held regarding racism, students and teachers would come to an understanding of what is acceptable to say and what is offensive, therefore decreasing the severity of racism at Mills. Furthermore, students would become much more prepared for their future and would be more comfortable in addressing racism in society.However, parents and teachers may argue that conversations around racism have no place in an educational environment and an assembly may offend certain students. I understand that racism is a challenging topic to talk about, but the only way to end racism is to address it, no matter how hard it may be. In addition, talking about racism in an educational environment allows for students to view different perspectives concerning racism, something Ms. Feit stated was crucial for a healthy learning experience. According to Jane Elliot, an outspoken racism activist, racist ideas have been passed down for nearly 500 years, and “racists aren’t stupid, they’re ignorant, and the answer to ignorance is education.”(Whitfield). If students and teachers do not hold conversations regarding race, students will become members of society who will further perpetuate racist ideas, making racism harder to fix. Therefore, it is more important than ever to talk about racism. Ultimately, I truly believe that holding an assembly around the topic of racism is crucial to the well-being of your students because it would bring awareness to the issues people face everyday, would play an important role in people’s lives, and would help address a problem that has plagued people for generations. Ms. Feit mentioned that during students’ time at Mills, they will learn to become open minded individuals and accepting of those from different backgrounds. I strongly believe that an assembly will help achieve this vision for Mills students. If people neglect to talk about racism, they would be ignoring a growing problem that will further dehumanize and degrade individuals until it becomes the ‘norm’ in society. Ending racism will be a difficult task, but it starts with one person at a time. I hope you will take my letter into consideration. Thank you.Sincerely, Erin Lum