Daniel - Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Entered on November 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

Discrimination of others should never be accepted in any culture or by anyone. It is not fair for that person. A person may have a different skin color, gender, or religion than you. You’re a guy. You’re a girl. But that doesn’t mean that you should treat each like a completely different type of person. Someone may be Christian, and someone else may be Jewish. But that does not mean that they should be treated as any less of a person than you would want to be treated. They didn’t do anything wrong, and so shouldn’t be thought of as any less of a person. I believe that all people in this world should be treated equally, and not made fun of for showing who they really are.

“You should be proud of who you are. You shouldn’t care what anybody else says about you.” My mom always tells me. I always heard this, but I never completely understood what it meant. No matter who I was or what I became, someone always thought that I could be better, whether it was academics, sports, character, or anything else. I always just agreed with them just to make it easier, so I wasn’t ever really proud of myself. I kept on changing who I was to what others wanted me to be, not what I wanted myself to be. I learned to accept who I am, and not to change just because someone else wants me to. I have to follow what I believe, not what others want me to believe.

Last summer, my family and I went to California for a vacation. When we got there, we went straight to our hotel, and saw a very nice black man holding the door open for everyone walking in or out. But, there was a white man who walked in just before us, and he said something that I’ll never forget. He said, “Your kind aren’t welcome here, so you should leave.” And then walked on like what he had said wasn’t offensive. The black man looked really embarrassed as he walked by us, just trying to get as far away from the white man as he could. I was really upset at the black man for just accepting what the other man said to him and not doing anything about it. But, I was even more upset at the white man for saying that. It isn’t fair for the black man to be discriminated just because of the color of his skin. The white man wouldn’t treat everyone that way. He would only say that to black people. You wouldn’t see him say that sort of thing to another white man. That should never be said or accepted by anyone.

There is more to a person than the color of their skin, or what gender they are, or what religion they follow, and it’s not fair for them to be made fun of because of it. They aren’t doing anything wrong by showing who they are, and shouldn’t be treated differently. I believe that no person should be discriminated because of his or her race, gender, or religion. I believe that everyone is equal, and should be treated that way.