Arcadia High School

My message: Bridge the divide

Dear Future President,

I’m a hyphenated American. I was born in this country, but my culture is forever a part of the way I identify myself. Chinese comes before American, as though all the things that make me different come before my love for my nation. As though here’s what we’re doing: finding a difference, and that little hyphen in between is what makes it a subtraction problem.

In times like these, it’s hard to be a hyphenated American, when differences seem to outweigh similarities, and differences are treated as things to be tolerated, but not necessarily understood.

Our nation is polarized on so many issues of race, of ethnicity, of religion. I’m asking you to be a leader brave enough to bridge these differences before they become irreconcilable. A house divided against itself cannot stand. So, please, for the sake of keeping our home together, open up a national dialogue to help Americans understand that the hyphen is a link, rather than a subtraction symbol.


Simone Chu

Arcadia High School

Arcadia, Calif.