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November 11, 2016
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“I Shouldn’t Have to Write This” by Justin Smalls details his thought process of the violent and unnecessary prejudice that governs this society. He observes terrible, traumatizing events that make him realize the horrors of biased justice and the prevalence of segregation. Despite the dark, depressing truth Justin reveals about us, he writes an exceptional narrative to cement his stance on racism. He successfully unveils an ugly but veracious perspective in a perspicuous format.

I pretend to ignore the gaping holes in the structure of our world. Climate change, politics, and human rights are blurry to me just like everything else when I take off my glasses. Disregard only works for so long before something worse happens, though. For example, although I am fully aware that underperforming stresses me out solely because of other people’s expectations, I don’t do anything to fix this. For all I know though, I may have an anxiety attack tomorrow, and suddenly I have to face bigger consequences. Yet, that’s simplifying things to a kid’s narrow outlook on life. As Justin points out, much bigger things are at stake.

 “I shouldn’t have to.” Constantly reiterated throughout, Justin plainly amplifies his opinion that none of the conflicts presented are justified a presence in life. There’s no reason for police brutality to take lives for looking different. There’s no reason for people to be unfairly spotlighted. There’s no reason to fear other people because they’ll hurt you for doing absolutely nothing. Deliberate, precise repetition emphasizes a view tenfold by exhibiting the main idea for all to see. Justin’s phrasing sends profound messages clearly but doesn’t tire readers for being drawn out.

Justin’s escalation from being an eyewitness to stressing over becoming a victim also impacts readers. One moment, he reads disgusting stories on social media. Then, he watches someone beaten to death. Now, he worries himself over grave dangers that stem solely from the unwarranted hate and cruelty of skin color. His thoughts include “today might be my last day on this planet,” “I might never see my little brother graduate high school,” and “I don’t want to bring a child into a world in which they can be killed simply for being different.” The severity of the repercussions of prejudice for Justin is so magnified that people feel they understand the dystopia we live in enough to make a change.

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