Justin Lalputan.

Here at George Mason University, we have a lot of diversity on campus. We are a true collage of cultures.
This is why it gets me incredibly mad when I see people laugh and disrespect others simply because they are foreign or come from another culture.

It’s visible all across campus. Whether it’s when you’re standing in line to order food or walking to class, it’s quite easy to spot students and staff who differ from the sociocultural norm.

And occasionally, I see people making fun of or disregarding them. Why?

We can learn from people of other cultures if we just interact and talk to them instead of avoiding them over something as stupid as a foreign accent or different cultural values.

Granted, people have a tendency to associate with those who are similar to them, but I know for a fact there are lots of people out there who have friends of different races.

When they interact with people who aren’t their friends, though, their attitudes can change and become more demeaning.

So what can we do to combat this situation?

I am currently taking a culture class here at Mason and I honestly feel that every student should be required to take such a course.

It’s hard to see things from another person’s perspective unless you actually sit down and consider what a person from another culture might think about what you are doing.

There are so many things in the world that we are ignorant about, and we will remain ignorant about other cultures unless we take the time to learn about them.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Mason is a campus full of racists, but I believe that it is always good to learn more about other cultures. It’s quite surprising how little some people know about other cultures.

Ignorance breeds hatred and dislike; that’s a fact that is engraved in history. The first step to preventing this is education.

So educate yourself. Read a book, watch something that’s not reality TV, go to another country and spend time with the people who live there.

Afterwards you can come back to Mason and get angry just like I do when I see someone demeaning other people simply because they are different.

We’re all different, so let’s embrace it and not use it as a means to divide us.

I know we have people who are culturally aware, but for every couple of educated people, there is an ignorant person who equates Islam with terrorism and thinks all Hispanics are from Mexico.

You can judge for yourself. Next time you see someone demeaning someone else from another culture, who’s the idiotic one?

Is it the foreigner? Or is it the ass making fun of them?

I think you know who it is.