Racial Cliques

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Townsend Harris High School is situated in the most diverse area in the world, Queens. Despite the diversity, some students feel more comfortable immersing themselves in friendships with those of similar backgrounds.

Freshman Gen Kramer admitted that he does in fact gravitate to people of the same race. He says, “I am slightly prone to making friend of similar ethnic background because I feel as if I can relate [to them] somehow.”

Although senior Nadia Khan does not associate with certain racial groups, she understands why some people do. She sympathizes with people like Gen as she believes, “You connect better when you’re of the same ethnic background. In new places, people find comfort in familiarity whether it be language, previous schools, or religious/cultural similarities.”

Freshman Marsad Kabir adds, “People may be prone to have friend groups with the same race for the same reason some neighborhoods [have] a lot of the same race. People may feel like they will fit in more the with people in their racial group, therefore seeking friends from their race.”

Upon observing the lunchroom seating dynamics, freshman Dawa Sherpa deduced, “Many of these racial cliques tend to sit with each other. Bonding over the same culture can help them grow closer, which is a great way to make new friends.” She wishes that she could share this bond with people of her own culture. She explains, “I am not in a racial clique although I would want to be there are no Nepalese people [that I know of] here so I can’t.”

Sophomore Emma Fujita concluded that racial groups mean nothing to her when approaching new friends. She states, “When I’m looking for a friend, I look at [his or her] personality, attitude, interests, and everything else besides the color of their skin or the nationality of their parents. A person’s race should not be the deciding point on whether or not [he or she] should be your friend or not, because with that mentality, you lose the opportunity to meet a lot of outstanding and shining personalities.”