Is Unity So Hard to Understand? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
     I have one of the best scenarios going at this moment. It’s not because I am getting good grades, excelling in sports or benefiting from a rare stroke of good luck, but rather because of my friends. We are a bunch of skateboarders who get ridiculed for what we do, but that is beside the point. The point is that my friends and I are a great mix of cultures, thanks largely to the ethnic melting pot known as Southern California.

There are two distinct cultures in the group I hang out with. The friends who live near me have a bit more luxury than those who live farther away, but that is totally irrelevant to our relationship. I do not consider my home the property that my parents own. I consider the whole city my home, which includes my friends. To me they are all the same. They are the bolts, the glue and the foundation that hold my world together. We are this great society that goes out and has fun every day, but not everyone sees at us this way.

Even though I hate to admit it, sometimes I feel that there is an ethnic border that divides this town. There are the white-collar areas and the blue-collar areas but both seem the same to me. In both there are mailmen making deliveries, dogs barking and kids playing. So, it really frustrates me to hear the ethnic and racial slurs that inhabit my school like cockroaches. It irks me even more when I go into these neighborhoods and the “outsiders” are ridiculed. For example, when my friends and I went skating in the more upscale part of town, my friends who lived in the other area were discriminated against. The owner of the area where we were skating stormed out of his office, rushed at us like we were matadors and he was the bull, and blurted out an unacceptable slur. The man looked at my friends and said, “We don’t want your type around here! Now get your crap and get the hell off my property!”

We have heard the second half of that speech often since there aren’t many places where it is okay to skateboard. But the horrifying and degrading part was the first part of his speech. I was disgusted to see this division in people. My friends have the same organs, bones and muscles as that man. There is no difference. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t see it this way. I have to put this incident into my memory and share it with as many people as I can. Things won’t change until someone steps up and teaches others about their misconceptions. We need to interact because this separation has damaged our society since the beginning of time. Yes, some may say that we’ve become immune, but wouldn’t it be better if it were gone forever?

This racial barrier has been breached and breached again, but it hasn’t been demolished. My friends and I know what to do. We must stick together and set an example. When people see us, they see something unique. Just by sticking together we send others the right idea: we are all the same. We shouldn’t be judged by appearance, only personality, and even though this has been said frequently, it means a lot. It is the difference between a separated society, and a society that is united.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback