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My Towers Crumbled Too This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Racism is defined as the belief that race accounts for differences in individuals' character or abilities and that a particular race is superior to others. As a Pakistani-American, I have witnessed and experienced racism, and I believe that it should be considered obsolete by now.

September 10, 2001. Today was a great day. I became class president of the fifth grade. As I waited for my mom to pick me up after school, my classmates congratulated me. I stood tall and smiled at everyone as they passed. I received gracious hugs from my friends. Today was my day. I was proud of myself for defeating Victoria, who had been class president since kindergarten. My mom pulled up and jumped out the car, giving me the greatest hug ever. I felt her pride as she held me against her chest.

September 12, 2001. Two days ago, I received hugs and words of encouragement from my peers. Now, I was ostracized and verbally abused by them: “Terrorist,” “Bomber,” “Murderer.”

My teacher suggested that my mom keep me home for a few days. I was an innocent child told not to come to school simply because of my race. My mom held me tight again, only this time for a different reason. The real world had been revealed to me.

That was my first experience with racism. Because I am of Middle-Eastern descent, I was stereotyped the same as the horrible ­terrorists who bombed my country, my home, on September 11, 2001. At first, I wondered why I couldn't be another race. Over time I realized I'm not to blame; society is.

No race is superior to any other. Americans are all the same. I believe the U.S. today is still slowly recovering from the racism that has existed since its formation. Thankfully, my generation is less focused on race and realizes that color is only skin deep, which bodes well for this country's future. I truly believe that slowly but surely, divisions caused by racism are diminishing and will continue to do so.

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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MMartin said...
Nov. 7, 2010 at 12:33 pm
Wow!! That story is truely heartfelt!! and is very passoniate!!
 
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