This I Believe

Joseph - USA
Entered on January 17, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged be the color of their skin but by the content of their character”, Martin Luther King Jr. He had a dream, which cam true and now we all work, go to school, and associate together. I don’t discriminate against anyone because of the color of their skin, how they look, or what they believe in and I feel others shouldn’t either. I have had many had many encounters with racism and discrimination. For example, at the mall I’ve been watched closely and then at school and parks I’ve been called a “beaner”. Sometimes people of a different color, race, or religion don’t have the some opportunity as the other person, but I think they should. I believe in anti-racism, I believe that everyone should be treated fairly despite the color of his or her skin, religion, and beliefs.

People come to our country in seek of a better life; they should have the same opportunity as everyone else. My father came to this country to find a better life, but it wasn’t easy, he couldn’t find a job anywhere except in the fields. He then took some classes that taught him how to read, write and speak English. Later he got his GED and then started working in construction, now he is the head foreman for a company. My father was able to get this far because someone gave him a chance; someone gave him the opportunity to work and learn. Everyone should have that opportunity to find the better life that they’ve been seeking.

People are always getting categorized into different groups. It’s always the Mexican that sells the drugs, picks the apples, or cuts your grass. The African-American is going to be the rap artist, professional athlete, or the guy that’s going to rob you when you’re not looking. People are always getting judged before anyone knows who they really are; it’s usually by the color of their skin or their beliefs. The funny thing is the color of their skin somehow plays a big part in whether you get the job or not. Why does the Indian direct your phone call or drive you to your destination, and why do you feel nervous around the Taliban, hoping he won’t explode while you’re around? I always hear this and it seems never to get old, the stereotypes, “he’s Mexican so he’s probably a good field worker” or “ he’s black so maybe we should have him on the basketball team.” It’s always on TV, in movies, or you experience it in everyday life. We are all people, is it really my job to sell you a taco, pick those apples, cut your grass, or maybe steal your lemons? I think I can become a doctor, maybe a layer or judge. Does the color of my skin really determine if the job is right for me?

We have the right to believe in what we desire, to speak out, the 1st Amendment protects our right to do so. it might protect us, but this still doesn’t stop people from making rude gestures about the Jew, the gay guy, or those who pray more than others. For instance, a few weeks ago some people were kicked off an airline for standing and praying. They were just doing what they’ve been doing their whole lives, praying at a particular time of day, everyday. It might not have been the perfect time to stand and pray, buy the least the flight attendants could have done was respect their cultures. Then there’s the hate towards the Afghani’s Iraqis, and so on. After the 9/11 incident people were throwing rocks at their windows, beating them, and harassing them. Just because they wear a turban doesn’t mean they are all terrorist waiting to explode. He might be gay, they might wear a turban, and she might not celebrate Christmas, they are all different but they have the right to be and we can’t take that away by hurting them or not hiring them. These people deserve a chance to live a normal life, whether they’re different or not.

I believe in anti-racism, I believe everyone should be treated fairly, no matter what he or she believes in or looks like. The dream hasn’t come true yet and maybe it never will. I’m still considered a “beaner” and a field worker; I think I’m just a human being looking for that better life. What do you consider yourself as?

Joseph Ramos