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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Racism

Jeff A., Niskayuna, NY


Life is rarely, if ever, fair. It pushes you around, gives you a pop quiz in math, then kicks you while you're down, spilling chocolate milk on your new shirt during lunch. I think everyone knows what I'm talking about: you come up with a great answer to the question in class, and your neighbor steals the idea, receiving the teacher's praise. Sometimes it's all you can do to just grin and bear it.

With all the heartbreak and disappointment life dishes out, there is one thing life did not bring upon us: racism. Racism, one of the deadliest diseases ever to traverse the face of the earth, is one of the few inequities that man has created. Racism is the scourge of the earth, brought on by pure hatred. Why is it, with all the things we have already in life, that we can't all put aside the color of our skin?

I agree that not all people are racists. However, before we can live in a world devoid of racial hatred, we must be rid of the "well, it's not our fault" syndrome. Granted it may not be your fault, but what are you doing to stop it? By putting the blame on others, you are simply compounding the problem. Instead of dodging the race bullet, why not meet it head on, stopping it in its tracks before it strikes?

Second, people must realize that racism starts with the smallest joke, the most insignificant utterance of a six-letter word. Racism is a disease spread by word of mouth. A young child often emulates a parent or older sibling, and hearing this word spoken can send the wrong message. Again, instead of being a bystander, why not take the situation into your own hands?

The biggest problem America has is not the racist, but the people who stand by and let racism continue. Like rubber-neckers at a horrific accident scene, bystanders only add to the problem instead of helping those involved. Do not begin to blame others for racism until you yourself have done everything in your power to stop it.

Before racism can ever be cured, people must realize that racism is everyone's fault and can therefore only be cured by a joint effort. Racist feelings and sentiments have been building in this country. If they continue to grow, there can be only one to end it: bloodshed on both sides.

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