The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

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Don’t use my words against me

Daryna Brodyk

“Хорошо, скоро увидимся,” a simple goodbye, turned daggers to my back.

“What language is that?”

“Russian,” I responded

“So, do you support Putin or something?”

How could I, with parents born and raised in Ukraine and a soul proud of my culture, support Putin?

Growing up, I was never afraid to speak my language. Rather, I was more afraid of forgetting it. I spoke Russian with my friends and was much better able to express myself through the language of my childhood and my people.

I struggled to learn English; now, it’s all I dare to speak. People have made me feel ashamed of my native tongue. There is always someone who assumes that one language means one country, not knowing of the years of Russian occupation that stain Ukraine.

Over 16 countries located in Europe and the Middle East have a majority Russian-speaking population, however, only one is at war.

First, it was Crimea, and now the entire country. There is no excuse, no explanation, no reason behind their vicious attacks. It is all for power, for eternal control.

Educating yourself and those around you will prevent you from hurting others. It will prevent people from assuming that someone supports a war just because they speak the enemy’s language, and it will prevent making them feel ashamed for doing so.

No one should be afraid to speak a language or express their culture because of what people might assume.

On my knees and hands up in prayer, I beg of you stop believing everything you see on social media, your news should come from The New York Times, not @user3493740 on Tiktok. If you’ve ever lied about something, imagine how easy it is for the Russian government to. And now they have imagined something, a hatred of an entire ethnicity. Don’t make it easy for yourself to succumb to that too.

Five-year-old me thought it was the coolest thing, to be able to speak another language, and it is. Take five minutes of your time, five minutes to save a five-year-old me and many others from a lifetime of shame and fear.

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