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Nalani Kochey

Personal Narrative 2A
Final draft

PROMPT: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have

taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

Throughout my life I have avoided having opinions, kept quiet, and stayed in the
background, all because the fear of rejection and disapproval were too blood-curdling to
imagine. The world is filled with injustices - some seen, some not, some covered-up, and some
ignored. But witnessing an injustice and not doing anything about it is a weight my shoulders
could never carry. It was a beautiful day outside, a day in which my body was immersed in a
sonder feeling. I realized that each person who passed me had lived a life as complex and vivid
as my own, however as I saw a Muslim woman get called a terrorist while buying groceries, I
came to the realization that I would never fully understand the extent of complexity that
consumed the lives of others.
I had read accounts of police brutality, racial profiling, and stereotyping, but never
witnessed it firsthand. Oppression had never been an issue for me, I didn't even know what the
word meant up until a couple years ago. I have led a very privileged life, one with little hardships
and a lot of opportunity, and I recognize that. The upsetting truth is that people who practice
different religions will never have the same opportunities as me, opportunities that I was given at
birth, all because of a predisposed idea that they are less than. Witnessing the mistreatment of
this human impacted me in ways I cannot even begin to fathom.
I began to take a closer look at society, and its inner workings. I became more aware of
the institutionalized oppression that minorities and religious groups face on a daily basis, and

Nalani Kochey
Personal Narrative 2A
Final draft
realized the most substantial problem related to oppression is the fact that people refuse to
believe they are contributing to the oppression of these social groups. Society is consumed in
knowing how others are perceiving them, and the last thing a person wants to be labeled as is a
racist. What most people don't realize is that, racist views have been instilled in a countless
amount of minds from premature ages, causing people to unconsciously discriminate against
minorities, and unconsciously have racist thoughts. I came to the illation that these thoughts are
not their fault, yet its their duty to correct them. Having unconscious racist thoughts, while being
able to admit your faults, and aim to correct them is more acceptable than being an actual racist,
and refusing to admit it.
For several years now, a number of Americans have placed the blame on the entire
Muslim community after the tragic events that occurred on September 11th, 2001. Placing the
blame is an action that many people like to take, because it offers comfort and pins a face to the
act. The problems with blaming the entire Muslim community for the acts of an extremist
terrorist group are immense and detrimental. Not only have Muslims been subject to more
prejudice and discrimination after these horrific attacks, they have also been denied at times the
right to freedom of religion. It is important to educate people on the fact that the people in the
Muslim community were victims of the 9/11 attacks as well, and that the blame should be placed
on the actual terrorists, not a community simply trying to live out their idea of the American
This experience gave me the opportunity to educate myself on the problems that many
Americans face to this day, and to advocate for people to find a way to eliminate these problems
once and for all. My generation is the generation that will change America for the better, and to
initiate this change we must educate the world on these issues. It is so unfortunate that my

Nalani Kochey
Personal Narrative 2A
Final draft
understanding of certain problems in America, such as racism and oppression were learned
following the disrespect and mistreatment of another human being. But with every bad situation,
there is something good to take away from it. I did that day witness an injustice and did not do
anything about it, and have had to carry the weight of that on my shoulders for quite some time.
But I will do all in my power to right that wrong, and make something good come of it.