In the book, American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang, the character Chin-Kee’s story is drawn in a sitcom format, much like the show Everybody Loves Raymond. He included visual elements such as an applause and laugh track at the bottom of the page. Gene Yang used a sitcom format to show us how stereotypes are deeply ingrained in television shows and movies. The media has portrayed the ‘typical American family’ as an upper middle class, white family. In most of these shows, characters that are not white are heavily stereotyped, dehumanizing people of these cultures and making them seem like aliens. For example, the movie Sixteen Candles has a character named Long Duk Dong. His character is a combination of Chinese stereotypes such as not being able to speak English well and trying his best to be cool and fit in. Gene yang wanted his readers to see how these stereotypes are taken lightly and often go unnoticed, forcing us to see how racist and wrong it actually is.
Adults should not be allowed to ban books from middle school libraries. This prevents kids from learning about different topics and being exposed to new things. If kids are not able to access this information, they can grow up to be prejudice and exclusive. They might also learn to be afraid of people and things that are different. Also, banning books could prevent these students from being able to explore their identity and other aspects of themselves. Without this discovery, these kids can learn to be ashamed of themselves and deny who they are. Adults should not be allowed to determine what these kids can or can’t have access to. They are able to filter the books that their children read, but should not have the ability to limit other kids. That is the responsibility of the individual children’s parents. In conclusion, middle school children should not be limited by close-minded adults.
People generally think that people with autism and other disabilities as do not have functioning brains. To prove this stereotype wrong, Rosie King gave a speech about how she had an extremely active imagination. In her speech, she said “One of the things I can do because I’m autistic — it’s an ability rather than a disability — is I’ve got a very, very vivid imagination. Let me explain it to you a bit. It’s like I’m walking in two worlds most of the time. There’s the real world, the world that we all share, and there’s the world in my mind, and the world in my mind is often so much more real than the real world. Like, it’s very easy for me to let my mind loose because I don’t try and fit myself into a tiny little box. That’s one of the best things about being autistic. You don’t have the urge to do that.” She talks about how she wouldn’t trade her imagination for anything and how her autism has made her feel free. She has also made a BBC documentary about her autism and is currently writing a book. Another example would be the short story, Movement, by Nancy Fulda. In this story, Hannah is a young girl with temporal autism. On page 58, she thinks “They do not know I’m listening. They think that, because I do not choose to respond, I do not notice they are there.” Hannah talks about how people don’t understand how complex she is, and how she sees everything in a deeper way. Another quote is “I am evolving, too, in my own small way. Connections within my brain are forming, surviving and perishing, and with each choice I make I alter the genotype of my soul. I think, that is what my parents fail most to see.” She constantly tries to express that she is more than what her parents think of her. My last example is Jason from the book Rules by Cynthia Lord. On page 47, Catherine offers to make more words for Jason’s speech book. Throughout the book, Jason wants more words so he can talk to people easier and expand the limits of what he can say. Jason wants to do things other kids can do, like run and go to dances. To conclude this paragraph, people with autism have fully functioning brains and should be treated as people, just as much as anyone else without a disability.