This I Believe

tyler - Northfield, Connecticut
Entered on May 13, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I Believe

Topic #4

There have been a few times in my life when I have judged people just on the way they look without even really knowing them. This may have come from a bad childhood experience with a different race. One time when I was much younger and my family was at an amusement park down south, we were in line for a raft ride and there were some people who didn’t feel like waiting in line and they happened to be African American. I could see that they had just gotten off of the ride and were making their way back up through the large line of people. By the time they got to the part of the line where my family was my father stepped out in front of them and told them to wait in line. Granted my father should not have even stopped them but he has a problem with people breaking the rules. One of the men who was stopped by my father said to get out of the way, but my father being the stubborn man he is didn’t budge and got into a fistfight with the other two men. My father ended up getting punched in the face and the other men were thrown out of the park along with the other people skipping the line. Since there were so few if any black people I had ever met before, I began to have a bad image of how the other races acted. I started to characterize some races as loud and obnoxious. I didn’t actually interact with many other races until I went to college and started interacting with a variety of people.

I believe that small events in your childhood that seem traumatic at the time can really give you a one sided view of other races. I believe that you can’t judge a whole group of people no matter how wrongly they act at one instance.