Privileged; Unfairness Through My Eyes

Casey - Gloucester, Massachusetts
Entered on May 20, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: equality

The North Shore, where I have lived all my life, is a very white community. The white to black ratio is twenty to one. Living here I have never really seen extreme unfairness, until I went to South Africa. After my visit, I realized how many people in this world are treated unfairly. What I saw there taught me about injustice in another country.

When I first visited Mala Mala, a game resort in South Africa, I was surprised how racially divided it still was. I knew that segregation had become illegal in 1994 (only 14 years ago) and the country was still making changes. On our first safari I noticed quickly that 14 of the 15 rangers (one of the best paying jobs at the resort) where white. To help spot the animals there were natives to the land. Many of them spoke very broken English. They knew the area and the animals better than the rangers, but they weren’t allowed to be rangers because they spoke poor English. Since everyone who worked at Mala Mala also lived there, the only way for people to get better at English was for someone at the game resort to teach them. The men weren’t the only one that where racially divided. The black women also had jobs that paid less like cleaning the rooms and serving the tables.

Mala Mala has made no progress in providing equal opportunities to all of its employees. The game resort opened in 1960 when South Africa was racially divided. The country has a growing economy and is setting a model for many of the countries around it. Having the World Cup in There in 2010 is also helping boost the economy.

Nelson Mandela along with Thabo Mbeki have worked really hard to bring the country back together. The country has opened centers where poor people can go and learn different crafts. The centers go by the saying, “If you give a man a fish it will last him a day. If you give a man a fishing rod it will last him forever.” Being taught the craft is like learning how to use a fishing rod, and one day they will be able to “fish” all by themselves. For the rest of my stay in South Africa, racism was always on my mind. When I got home I started looking at out more for people treating others unfairly. Even though it is hard, I try my best to tell people (when they are unfair) that what they are saying is not nice at all.

One of my friends, who is black, experiences different amounts of racisms, depending on the situation. At his old school, he experienced racism from one of his teachers. His class was going to have a party, and the teacher said, “One rule, No Jimmies.” He said that he experienced this a lot at his old school. He left our school half way through the year; he was one of two back kids in a school of 150.

There are other kinds of unfair nesses besides racism. It is unfair that I get to go to Waring where I am able to get a fabulous private school education. I was given the opportunity to go to this great school, and I took it. The classes are smaller than public school, and for the most part the school is tougher. But the teachers at Waring are teachers and also friends. They help you if you are struggling in a class, but they are also there for you if you are going through hard times. I feel really privileged to get the education that I am getting. At the same time it is not fair at all that I should receive this education, and that some kids would never have the opportunity to receive a education like the one that I am getting.

I believe that everyone should be treated equally. Racism is wrong. No one deserves to be treated unequally because of the color of his or her skin.

I agree with Martin Luther King, he says “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’” I believe that everyone should be treated equally.