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We're all the Same

In many ways I’m like what people call the average American teenager; I have an iPod, I go to high school, I hang out with friends, I go out to movies, I have a cell phone, and I love music. I have my own hobbies just like everyone else in the world; I play four musical instruments, I love learning languages, I love writing and reading, and I’m a spring board diver. My family has their very own history because they haven’t always lived in America like most everyone in America except for the Native Americans of course.

I’m unique in yet another way though. Every Sabbath I light candles and go to synagogue, every Yom Kippur I fast, and every Passover I eat unleavened bread. Yes I am Jewish. I am part of one of the most hated races on Earth; I am part of a race that people have been trying to wipe out since the beginning of time. I am like Middle Eastern immigrants in the U.S. in one way, I cannot openly say what religion and race I belong to without people stereotyping me and hurting me both verbally and physically. I go to a school that claims to be accepting and forgiving, I go to a Catholic school. I go to school and I get called nasty names, I get jokes about my religion strewn about in front of me, and I get offensive signs put on my locker. I am like every other teenager in America on the outside and so long as no one knows about the religion I belong to no one seems to think of me any differently than any other teenager, but the second that people know I’m Jewish my life turns upside down. I’m a fairly patient and forgiving person but I’m not going to lie and say that the things people say don’t hurt me. They do.

The reason why I wrote this is to hopefully shed some light upon the subject of prejudice. I have done nothing to deserve the treatment I get from people simply because I’m Jewish. There are hundreds of kids and teenagers in America just like me, they have unique talents and are very special but they aren’t seen for their talents they’re seen for being a Jew. Lots of kids and teenagers like me are stereotyped every day and for no good reason at all. Lots of kids and teenagers don’t want to go to school because they’re afraid of tomorrow. Just try and imagine if you had to live with signs on your locker that read things like: “You killed Jesus!”, “You’re going to hell because you don’t believe in Jesus!”, and “Stupid Jew go to hell!” Not every black person likes watermelon, not every Jew has big curly hair and brown eyes, not every Middle Eastern person is a terrorist, and not every Asian is super-smart in math. So next time you see a minority don’t stereotype simply smile and say hello. We’re not different from anyone else just because of our race or religion; we’re not different from you we’re all just the same.




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This article has 9 comments. Post your own!

lh506 said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 1:26 pm:
First opening sentence states it all. I can truly relate to it when you said, “In many ways I’m like what people call the average American teenager; I have an iPod, I go to high school, I hang out with friends, I go out to movies, I have a cell phone, and I love music. I have my own hobbies just like everyone else in the world.” This sentence actually describes me. The objective is, it compares how the average teens are alike, and how everyone is different on the inside. It def... (more »)
 
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naturelover123 said...
Mar. 8, 2010 at 8:59 pm:
Good article with a good message. We're all basically the same...we're all human.
 
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RobinLite This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 25, 2010 at 3:10 pm:
Katie D.: Most people in this world seem to think there's something wrong with us when really it's the hate that's wrong.
 
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Katie D. said...
Jan. 21, 2010 at 9:53 am:
I'm Jewish too. But I thank the stars that I'm lucky enough not to recieve the kind of hate you recieve every day. But- When I told my fellow classmates I was Jewish, the responded with "WHAT? You're Jewish???" as if there was something wrong with that. We are one of the most hated cultures, but as one Rabbi wisely said "You can't get rid of us. You can't eliminate an entire culture based on hate. Someone will always survive. How else do you think we'... (more »)
 
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RobinLite This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 27, 2009 at 11:39 pm:
Glass_of_sun I feel your pain. I have to see it in my locker every single day.
 
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RobinLite This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 20, 2009 at 3:45 pm:
I did not write this article for you to think about Catholic schools and their faults. Not all Catholic schools are bad. Nor did I write this to condemn my fellow classmates.
 
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This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 20, 2009 at 10:39 am:
I'm not Jewish, but I know how terrible Catholic schools can be to religious minorities. I remember my religion teacher mocking Wiccans right there i class. Here I am, the daughter of a Wiccan, wanting to scream at my classmates for saying how stupid Beltane is. Your classmates are terrible people to hang those signs on your locker, but stay strong. Don't let them break you!
 
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glass_of_sun said...
Oct. 19, 2009 at 10:30 pm:
I'm jewish too and am forced to keep it a secret. My classmates teasing is meant to be jokingly but it gets annoying, then frustrating, then simply hurtful. Now, i am pantheistic, but even the heritage slapped to my name creates havoc.
 
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.:al3na:. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 18, 2009 at 7:11 pm:
beautifully written, and so, so true. Please keep writing because not only are you talented but you speak the truth.
 
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