Who Are You Calling Underprivileged?
I. Background Information
Natasha Rodriguez, who is the student newspaper editor of the Sarah Lawrence College, admonished the college administrations for labeling students underprivileged (206) on the grounds of race and ethnicity. The prime purpose of her essay, “Who Are You Calling Underprivileged?” is to highlight the difference between the two terms, i.e., underprivileged (206) and in need (206). In this regard, she has maintained her prime focus in the essay on investigating the definition of the label, the causes and both short-term and long-term effects of being categorized as underprivileged (206). For this purpose, she has successfully utilized and maintained a dismayed tone for conveying her confusion and disappointment, i.e., confused (206) and angered (207), on the behavior of the college administrations for assigning such a derogatory labels to students.
II. Thesis Statement
Natasha Rodriguez was negatively labeled (207) as underprivileged (206) on a college financial form. It made her to think and question how she saw herself in the world? (206). In an attempt to answer this question, she investigated the controversial label further, and explored that fact that people should be referred to as underprivileged only if they’re the ones who are calling themselves that” (207). Finally, she reached to the conclusion that people should only be called underprivileged only if they call themselves so” (207). Instead, she recommended the label of student in need (207), which is a much better suggestion to make this world a better place. Primarily, this label works for maintaining peace on the planet due to the fact that it does not affix a particular demographic with a potentially embarrassing or uncomfortable label, i.e., it successfully and peacefully crosses all boundaries.
III. Summary/Description of the Work
Natasha Rodriguez, student newspaper editor of the Sarah Lawrence College, was unfairly labeled as underprivileged on a college financial form based on her ethnicity. She did not like the notion due to the fact that it came to her as a slap, i.e., without her choice and consent. Thus, she investigated the matter on why students were being labeled as underprivileged by the colleges. She came to the conclusion that only the students willing to call themselves as underprivileged must be called so. The remaining students must be labeled as the ones in need, instead. Thus, ethnicity must never be made the ground for calling someone underprivileged.
IV. Interpretation and Evaluation
The organization of the essay is clear and concise. The two-page essay talks about the much deeper topic of the world that is mostly not spoken about. The chronicle of the event have not been dramatized in an attempt to create a particular aura around the topic despite the fact it remains one of the most controversial topics in today’s world. In a similar fashion, the style of the essay is simple and the flow is easy. The readers can easily relate themselves to the events. The flow and content of the essay has made it efficiently effective in raising questions concerning discriminatory behaviors being shown to people on the grounds of ethnicity and race; the questions that had never been answered before, and were taken as a matter of routine such as labeling a student underprivileged in a college financial aid form due to their ethnicity. Natasha Rodriguez has treated the topic very well. Although the appeal has been made to a particular audience, i.e., the college administration but it can be generalized around the globe as well.
It is a common misconception that students applying for financial aid in colleges are the ones who are underprivileged particularly if they belong to a particular race or ethnicity. Natasha Rodriguez raised her eyebrow on this, otherwise, matter of routine. Her efforts are appreciable.
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