This I Believe

Mitchell - Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Entered on November 14, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Everyone comes from an embryo. Everyone comes from one sperm and one egg cell and everyone has 1 “x” chromosome in his or her body. Everyone has 46 chromosomes. No matter what skin color, name, body type, or birthplace we have these traits in common. Everyone is born with one brain and one heart. Everyone is equal.

In 10th grade history class when I was learning about slavery, my teacher showed the movie Amistad. The movie had scene after scene of African people being shipped across the Atlantic naked, starving, and abused. These scenes brought me to tears. From that day on I have recognized black people and white people as people.

When someone dies, he dies a person, and when someone is born, he is born a person as well. Race has no effect on intelligence or potential. Race is simply appearance, and once getting past that, there is simply no difference between one person and another. I believe that it is what’s on the inside that counts. Whether someone is a millionaire or a pauper, in my eyes they are a person, and that is what is important. There are no intellectual restrictions based on race, ethnicity, or color. Disease, death, and even a supreme being, assuming that there is such a being do not take skin color into account.

Two summers ago I went to a jail for a project. As a young boy I was fearful of what was to come. I walked in and the jail did not seem too bad. As I went up to the first floor I had many men staring at me as I walked passed. Some even screamed at me and some asked for money and help. When I reached the third floor I was shocked. I had only seen one black person. I thought that maybe that was where the good people were and the worse people were on higher floors. After visiting eight floors I saw about 25 black people in total and many Spanish and white people in the jail cells. I contemplated and after talking with my parent I realized that I had committed some serious stereotyping. Anyone can go to jail. Jail is not based on race, rather ones actions. That day, I learned a very valuable lesson regarding stereotyping and made a mistake I vowed to never make again.

I am Jewish. When I was 11 years-old I thought that Judaism was superior to other religions. One day I went bowling with some friends and experienced a case of discrimination, because my friend was wearing a yarmulka. A few rowdy college-aged teens threw rocks at our car and screamed some profanities simply because of our religion. We were terrified and horrified. I realized from this situation that this can happen to anyone of any religion, and that everyone and every religion should be equal. From that day on I came to realize that religion does not determine what kind of person one becomes. People are people, and I believe that’s all that there is to it.

Health and intelligence have nothing to do with ones skin color or ethnicity. Everyone grows up as parents teach them. I believe that homosexual or heterosexual, black or white, American or African, everyone is a person and everyone is equal in my eyes. People come in all shapes and sizes, but equality only comes in one size. No matter what a person looks like everyone is equal and that is what matters to me.