This I Believe

Robert - Webster, New York
Entered on March 3, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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I was born, how shall we say, “different” from the majority of the other babies in the hospital. It was not a disease, nor was it a birth defect. It was, however, because straight from the womb, I was a minority. Because of my difference, I have been put at an unfair disadvantage, not just once, but on multiple occasions. I also have been given unfair advantages because people feel the need to take pity on me, and help me out.

I believe that despite my minority status, I should be treated equally, not differently. I should not be judged on what I am, but what I can accomplish.

One of the many times I have been discriminated against was when I entered a table tennis tournament. The rules didn’t allow someone of my minority status to play on the same competitive level as those of the majority. What was I to do? The only logical thing at the time was to try to fit in with the majority to better suit the harsh and discriminatory rulebook. In doing so, I could not keep up with the competition. I was ejected from the tournament prematurely, despite my high level of skill.

From restaurant seating, to lecture hall desks, to American automobile design, almost all aspects of life are advantageous to the majority, and detrimental to minorities like me. Some have tried to make life equal between the majority and minority, and end up creating a situation of unfair advantage for people like me.

Despite having no physical handicap, special equipment has been engineered to create an environment for people of my minority status to accomplish simple tasks. Normally, these tasks would require very little adaptation. We are treated as if these simple tasks are too hard, and we need special help. This special equipment is typically found to be of high quality, which sets me above my peers.

During my present search for higher education, I have found scholarship money presented exclusively to people of my minority. I do not require more money for college simply because I am part of a minority! Why should my friends in the majority be excluded from this financial opportunity?

Children are prone to skipping over minute differences between their friends, as long as they are entertained. As you grow older, people notice your differences more. You may find yourself at either end of the spectrum of discrimination, whether that is a disadvantage, or an unfair advantage. I would like to be treated according to who I really am, and not my minority status. Am I really that different because I am left-handed?