Young, Racial Profiling in the Short Story Don't Mess with Tanya by Ken Tangvik

In the short story Don’t Mess With Tonya by Ken Tangvik, we experience a glimpse of young, racial profiling with both Tanya, a young African American teen, and Anthony who moved to America when he was ten years old, These two characters both grew up being bullied by others because of who they were. This story is very relatable due to the fact that I was too bullied when I moved to America. Apparently having an accent, in high school, that is not American gets you picked on by those who are immature.

I also had someone ask me why I was so good at English if I came from a Spanish, third world country News flash, I went to bilingual school and my first language is English, However, this person judge me on the one mere fact that he knew about me and that was where I was from; he didn’t take the time to get to know me for who I was.

I learned to defend my self from those who downed on me and tried to make me feel bad for being who I am; I take pride in who I am“

This story shows how many get upset and sick of being downed on; although some of their reactions are a bit drastic, they are merely people trying to survive in this world of hatred and judgement We are to believe in ourselves and defend what we believe, love one another, and not judge; if we were to do this, we wouldn’t have so much hatred in the world like we have now.

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Believing in ourselves and defending our beliefs takes courage in achieving it. Tanya used her courage to over come those who tried to down on her. According to story “Tanya‘s ethical views were acutely clear and simple: “Don’t mess with me, and I don’t mess with you;” “1 “Respect me and I‘ll respect you. She sought out to be respected as a young African American and wanted no one to interfere with that.

We all wish to be respected in this world; females are being underestimated, Tanya shows how women can be fearless and fierce no matter who you are or your colon I admire her spunk because sometimes it takes that one person to stand up for what they believe in order to gain equality for others. The story also displayed acts of discrimination and bullying against immigrants, As Anthony Dimasi came to America in wanting to succeed at “the American dream”, he was quickly bullied and “ridiculed by his classmates for his inability to speak Englishm” One of his classmates sought out to “trip him in the stairwayw Tony stabbed him in the thigh with his pencil.”2 I definitely saw this as a drastic way to retaliate; however, I reminded myself that he was being not only verbally bullied, but also physicallyt Anthony was actually “freed from the bullies, [and he] learned English with ease and established himself as an honor roll student”3 I have not personally experienced being made fun of for not speaking.

English, but I have stood up for many of my friends who struggled in learning the English language Everyone deserves to be able to enjoy who they are; Don ’t Mess With Tanya teaches those to stand up for their rights Love is such a universal language to show how much you appreciate and respect another; it also deserves to be shown more Throughout this story of having Tanya being picked on a lot and downgraded by whites, “Tanya didn‘t carry an anti-white attitude, and she wasn’t a man- hater”‘ I learned a lot when I moved to America, Many of it was that there are a lot of racist people but also a lot of those who understand. I received love and respect by those who knew what I was going through; that love got me through many difficult days. Showing someone love can change someone’s day, so it is important to always be kind and patient with others.

Love is not only about giving affection to a love one; being loving can be simply being kind, caring, accepting, and understanding toward others. Anthony eventually took over his family’s clothing store and “i . ,hired a black teen who had been recommended by a local Pop Warner football “5 coach. His name was Chester and was said that“ his charming smile had conquered the xenophobia so common in suburban settings.”6 Anthony learned that he was a respectful young black teen, not like the others and he began to grow on him. Chester is an example of putting aside what others may have thought and showed kindness to his customers; Anthony, eventually, “through his experience with Chester, [his] mind opened a bit…” They grew to like the boy and it is heart warming to see the change in how others saw him, a simple task of being loving, Even though this world is very diverse one of the biggest issues is the people who judge others because they are different, Yes, this is actually very true. People tend to want you to be like them and many do not want to see others do as they feel like.

Individuals like Tanya encourage me to be the person I want to be and not focus on others‘ judgmental minds. She stands up for herself and for her African American race, This led Tanya to a fallout with Anthony in his store; she plotted a scheme where she pretended to shoplift and it led to Anthony calling the cops, but only to be proved wrong. Tanya then said to her friend after they left the store that “next week [they were] going back there to make sure Gramps remembers Tanyat”7Anthony was never one to be racist or purposely take on hatred towards others until he started to encounter many awful scenarios with urban students in the neighborhood. When the students got out of class, Anthony would usually stand inside by his front door to guard his store from the chaotic group of students. I can defiantly relate to the rowdiness of students in school and it was not fun at all; it led to many unnecessary fights and drama.

As Anthony would guard his door, “the youth responded to the hateful glares by sticking out their tongues, making threatening gestures, laughing, and screaming.”’1 I now understand why Anthony would not want any of them in his store. I would have reacted the same, no matter the race of the kids; I simply do not tolerate rudenesst I do feel as if Tanya was a bit too rude of the situation; she does know of how much the 6 Page 10, paragraph 2 of Tangvik‘s Don’t Mess With Tanya store owner has dealt with these kids parading around looking for trouble. There was an incident where “ several dozen of them [were] leaping along the row of parked cars on the congested main street,”.

Anthony, who followed Tanya and her friend as they looked around the store, does not know of what Tanya has been through personally of being a black teen during a time of of harsh racism towards them Both of them have their reasons for their actions , but personally, I think they were quick to judge each other without fully thinking things through, An act of judgement and assuming can lead to fueling the many stereotypes that we have in the world now This story is filed with many life lessons, I learned many different perspectives of bullying, racial profiling, and misjudgmenti It taught a lesson to be kind, respectful, and thoughtful to those around you. Although some may seem not worthy, one may never know what they have been through. I saw Don’t Mess Mth Tanya as a story portraying a lesson of not judging a book by its cover.

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Young, Racial Profiling in the Short Story Don't Mess with Tanya by Ken Tangvik. (2022, Nov 12). Retrieved from

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