The U.S. Must Be A Role Model On Tolerance

American society lacks tolerance and acceptance of immigrants in the country.


American society lacks tolerance and acceptance of immigrants in the country.

Jennifer Sanguano, Contributor

As an immigrant, I have seen a dramatic change in the past few years. I have witnessed discrimination increasing and being more exposed. To be honest, I was surprised to see this happening in a country that I considered open-minded, diverse and more tolerant than my own country of Ecuador.

Sadly, nowadays in the United States, expressing yourself is sometimes considered acceptable even if you offend others. This has not stopped within this nation’s borders and, in fact, it has spread.

I can testify that many of us around the world look up to the U.S. America is so ingrained in our societies that we have followed its economic, technologic and cultural models without considering that one size does not fit all.

Admiration comes with responsibility, and this is why I believe the U.S. needs to set an example for other countries in the world on how to deal with immigration, racism and other issues currently harming this nation. We immigrants learned to love this country and we are just as accountable as all its citizens to ensure tolerance prevails.

But how can we build a more tolerant society? This is a question I have asked myself every time when a discriminatory story is showcased in the news. Of course, the answer varies depending on the context of the story, but in all of them, I come back to the same conclusion: we all need to educate ourselves and we have the responsibility to educate others.

I believe that educating people can be the key to start understanding and respecting one another. I am not only referring to education in schools or colleges, but in our society. We need to take action to reconstruct tolerance in our society and, in my opinion, education is the perfect tool.

As we continue to see or experience discrimination in this country, at Central Connecticut or in our neighborhood, it is essential that we talk about it and share our knowledge with others. From racism, xenophobia, homophobia and so on, we are used to seeing discrimination as part of our daily news feed and even written it on our college campuses’ buildings.

It happens in front of our doors and it happens to our loved ones, so we need to address it. I keep hoping that America can change and become an example for other nations to treat everyone with respect and dignity, but we need to understand that this change starts with each of us individually.