Cary News: Opinion

Luke Akinsola: Some students get treated differently

Some students treated differently

As a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill, I see the polarization on a daily basis: Blacks are underrepresented and underachieving at our popular public universities.

I’ve spent a lot of time in Raleigh because many of my friends are students at N.C. State. I see the same trend that’s present in Chapel Hill.

I wonder why there’s a lack of color on these prestigious campuses. Is it money? Circumstances? Privilege? Maybe.

But the stem of the issue starts with a lie I was taught, specifically in this area.

My parents are from Nigeria. They were forced to return to their native country for immigration purposes. After 12 years apart, my mom and I were reunited. Unfortunately, my father passed away overseas in 2009.

I spent only five years with my father, but he always emphasized the importance of education. This motivated me to do well in school, until I moved to Cary.

Realizing the cultural differences between southeast Raleigh and Cary early on, I was shocked to see how some teachers treated me. It was almost as if they were expecting me to fail. This realization infuriated me as I continued to struggle with my temper.

Some teachers saw my horrible attitude and neglected me. Students like me were told that if you had a bad attitude, it would be difficult to go to college and be a law-abiding citizen. My white classmates who struggled with their tempers were met with sympathy. Not all of my teachers were like this, but I was treated differently.

Many black students experience this same marginalization in their school systems. This leads to the mindset that they can’t make it to college.

This is the foundation. When will there be a change?

Luke Akinsola, Cary

Akinsola attended Cary High School for four years, graduating in 2012. He is a junior broadcast journalism major at UNC-Chapel Hill. He wrote this letter for an assignment in his writing and reporting class where he was asked to write a letter to the editor for his hometown paper about any topic.