“I am Hurt”: Reflections on Racism From a POC Student


In a rising age of racial awareness, it is incredibly important to listen to People of Color and be empathetic toward their experiences. In this article, we listen to HCRHS student Anvi Fenn share her story as an Indian American girl going to a predominantly white school.

Anvi Fenn

Growing up I was always aware of my differences. The differences that I was embarrassed and hurt to express. The differences that I was judged and called out for. I am an Indian American girl going to a predominantly white school. I am exhausted. I am done with trying to fit in. I am overwhelmed.  

“You are so whitewashed,” “You won’t understand because you’re Indian.” “You act white.” These are microaggressions (A statement of action that is an indirect and subtle discrimination towards a racial or ethnic minority) that I hear on a day-to-day basis. People don’t realize that these phrases are hurtful and racist.  This is what I personally experience constantly as a student at Hunterdon Central.

It hurts knowing that some of my closest “friends” are the people who attack me the most with hurtful words. It hurts knowing that they aren’t even aware of the racist remarks they make. It hurts knowing that if I call them out for it, they will sit there, laugh, and say, “It’s a joke, calm down.” It hurts more knowing that these actions are normalized in my own school. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am proud. I am proud of who I am and blessed to have grown up in  two amazing and beautiful cultures. However, I am not proud of the fact that the color of my skin isn’t accepted in my own community.

We as humans need to be aware of what we say to others. Think before you speak: Is this microaggression? Will this hurt the person I am talking to? We need to realize that something as small as words can completely tear apart a person’s mental and emotional health.

After communicating with my peers, it was a common agreement that there are many challenges of being a person of color at a predominantly white school. A close friend of mine, who just recently moved out of New Jersey to a small private school in Ohio, stated that her fellow community members weren’t afraid to speak about their own race and openly discuss diversity and other cultures/values. Thankfully after everything that has arose in recent months, people around the world have begun to educate themselves about racism. Unfortunately, people are stubborn, and it is difficult for them to understand that change is necessary.

This is why it’s difficult to have a voice where I live. It’s easy to feel lost, and I often disregard my culture and identity because of the people I am surrounded by. I personally don’t feel accepted. I feel like I don’t belong. I feel uncomfortable speaking or sharing about my own culture because I fear what others would think. This is what my life has come down to. Everyone is stuck in their own bubble– a bubble that we have to break.