“One Step…”

Kimberly - Plainsboro, New Jersey
Entered on January 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: prejudice
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I believe in fighting. Not like deadly wars and damaging battles. No, I believe in fighting for a dream. Miep Gies dreamt of peace for all Jews in Germany during the Holocaust. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamt of equality amongst blacks and whites. I have a dream that all ethnic groups will one day truly integrate. No stereotyping, no racism. So how do you fight for it? Just take one step at a time…

But, one would inquire, did stereotypes and racism not perish with the inequalities of blacks and whites, Jews and the Nazis? The answer is no. Even the Civil Rights Act of 1964 failed to dispose of differences existing between blacks and whites. Provident sidesteps ascertained that even Congress could not prohibit discrimination. Moreover, after the Holocaust, Jews are no longer branded. The Germans are now the victims because of Hitler’s actions. I believe in a revolution of equality and respect – a day where no one is cheated of something in their life due to the actions of another.

Since third grade I was forced into a straight-A reputation. If ever I acquired a score lower than a 97%, people would say to me, “But you’re Asian! Why didn’t you ACE it?” As I progress through my last year of middle school, stereotypes are heightening. Racism is increasing in numbers. Doubtless, an immeasurable number of people will ultimately be drawn into this crisis.

Earlier this year, I had been a bystander to one of the most terrible indications of racism on school grounds. Occupied in a game called “Four-square” with my friends, a gang of kids approached (non-Asians) and took our ball. Whether this was an act of racism is controversial. From my viewpoint though, it very well may have been. After the pilfering of our ball, one individual from that gang came over and pegged it at my friend (Asian). His glasses broke in two. These people were not our friends. They did not apologize. They simply lost their nerve, panicked, and left.

In this institute of existence, am I supposed to simply step aside and let those individuals have their way? When a person is subject to so much stereotyping in their life, they experience the inclination to take a stand. Take Martin Luther King Jr. He stood up for his fellow African-Americans, whom were denied of their rights in the Land of the Free. My friends and I stand up for others who are forced to undergo this society, precisely as they would for us. Just take one step at a time…

However unlikely it may seem that stereotypes and racism will vanish from this flawed and insufficient world we reside in, there is always some hope. There is always some chance. However small the chance may be, it bestows upon all of us an awareness of opportunity. An awareness of an opening. That diminutive source of light is all it takes to make a monumental change in society. I’m taking it.