Red and Yellow, Black and White

Amanda - Hudsonville, Michigan
Entered on January 24, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: equality

Why does mankind have such a hard time with differences? Whether a man is a snob or a cheat or just a scoundrel never seems to matter that much, yet for something as trivial as the color of one’s skin, he is despised. Like my papi.

My dad was not born in the United States, but in Mexico City, the largest metropolis in the world. In a poor family with nine children, he grew up knowing hunger and want. Yet through it all, he persevered – kept working hard, kept believing that God had a plan. Then, he was offered the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to go to school in America. But the promised land to the north was not quite as free and equal as advertised. The roots of discrimination went deep, so deep that despite ten years of loyal service, my papi was eventually left with no choice but to seek new employment. All because he was Mexican.

Many times growing up, I have cursed my white skin. To me, it is the skin of the condescending, Caucasian majority. It is much more honorable, more brave to be brown. Those who face this kind of prejudice every day, people who are just trying to make better lives for themselves and for those they love, are the truly admirable ones. They do not deserve to be treated this way. No one deserves to be treated this way.

Yet it goes on, these lingering stereotypes which cause such division in our society. It saddens me to see any kind of biased treatment against a group or race. Whether one is black, white, Christian, Muslim, gay, or straight does not matter. Everyone has the right to be treated right, and that is a truth which I believe makes all men equal.