Why Judge?

January 30, 2013
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Why? Why are people forced to deal with discrimination only because of their skin tone, religion, or culture? Why do people feel comfortable just watching the injustices as if nothing is wrong, rather than stopping the perpetrators? African-Americans witness these scenes every day. Many have described walking into a room and being judged based on appearance is one of the worst feelings one can have. Learning to cope with stereotypes is a success strategy that must be mastered at an early age because one cannot change the stereotype that is branded in the minds of society. Frustration with these stereotypes is not only a source of anxiety, but can also implore one to overcome adversity and prove that they matter and can do anything.

In my life, I have seen explicit displays of racism and discrimination against African Americans but these outward displays of discrimination are not even the most disturbing for society. The hidden discriminatory messages and the ignorant, yet hurtful, comments of people are the reason that stereotypes are so prominent in society. Being an African-American person means carrying around stereotypes of gangs, violence, and ignorance that stick to my skin everywhere I go. It is only when I show who I really am to others that I can begin to peel off these stereotypes and separate myself from them in the minds of individuals in society. Commonly, I receive simple comments from peers such as “you’re so asian” because I work hard and perform well in school and “you speak like a white person” because I use correct grammar are examples of the ignorance that spreads these erroneous stereotypes. These characteristics are not defined by skin color, race, or religion.

Discrimination and racism won’t stop until people learn to separate a person’s skin tone from their personality. The best thing one can do when faced with discrimination is to prove the stereotypes wrong. One must proved that dark skin does not equal stupid, violent, or ignorant. One must prove that anyone can do anything they set their mind to. This is why I find it important to spread the idea of encouragement, not discrimination, to my fellow African American peers. The more people that I can encourage, the more opportunities there will be to break the stereotypes.

My plan to combat discrimination is to continue displaying leadership and being a successful African-American student. I will continue to develop competitive skills and exude confidence in my abilities and will continue to expect success and doors of opportunity to be opened to me. I will continue to be extremely proud of who I am and happy to be an African-American. I will follow in the footsteps of my elders and others of my race whom have contributed greatly to our country, whether others accept me or not. I will not let stereotypes define me. I promise to share this message with as many people as I can and hope to stop the hate.

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TBar said...
Feb. 7, 2013 at 12:36 am
Very well stated. If only more people would follow this example. I'm sure that the world would be a better place.. Thanks for the encouragement.
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