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When Prejudice Hits Home This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Growing up I believed I waspart of American society and assumed people viewed me as just another neighbor,friend or classmate. That innocence, however, was shattered after my family and Iexperienced prejudice.

We were up early that Saturday morning anticipatingthe arrival of our carpenter. At 8 o'clock we heard him pull into the driveway. Ipeered out a window and saw him staring at our mailbox, his face twisted withdisbelief and anger. He asked my dad to come outside with him. I remember thesullen expression on my dad's face as he told my mom about the mailbox. I ranoutside and saw "KKK" and "Die" spray-painted on it. My dad'scar tires were also deflated. Amazement filled me; I was completely shocked torealize that prejudice existed in my community.

For the next few hours Iexperienced different emotions; initially I was consumed with fear. Someone,somewhere, felt negatively enough toward our family to do something. They did itonce, would they do it again? My dad told me to forget about the whole thing. Icouldn't, of course. The image of the mailbox remained in my mind and I becameangry and upset. Someone had ignored our rights as human beings and made us feelinferior and endangered. The police questioned my family, wondering who mighthave done this crime. I could not think of anyone. For the next few days, realitywas suspended as I waited to find out who had defaced our mailbox.

Whenthe police did call, the news was shocking. It was one of our neighbors. I feltrelief knowing it was not a hate group. My family decided not to press chargesbecause we were aware of the kid's family problems. We believe he did not act outso much because he hated us, but because he had no self-control. From thisexperience I learned the importance of making myself aware of prejudice andracism, and not allowing myself to be consumed by hate or act on those emotions.



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




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AirenLorayne said...
Apr. 19, 2011 at 12:29 am

Love the article.

 

I can't wait for the day when people can look past race, religion, etc. and not feel the need to be prejudce.We are all people and have much bigger things to deal with in life.

People don't realize that you don't have to necessarily even like other people, but at least be CIVIL! Its common sense! Lol

 
datyger said...
Jan. 30, 2009 at 2:25 am
That was a nice article... I really hope that no one ever does that again. From time to time people experience different and constant struggle.. and i am so glad that you were able to figure out what had origionally solved this devastating problem.
 
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