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Take a moment to think about your friends and family. You love them unconditionally, despite their looks, pigmentation of skin, and ethnicity. Imagine if every person had that same love for one another. Our earth would not be just a place we inhabit, but it would become a home for mankind : a home with warm glowing lights oozing out of every dark crack welcoming new friends, peace, and love. Even though mankind has not reached that beautiful image yet, we have come very far.
“Fifth grade was when we integrated [schools] for the first time,” states English Teacher Rosemary Abercrombie.
In the late 50’s and early 60’s, integration was occurring in every school in America. That was America’s first historical step to end racism. For many white people, this was their first exposure to African Americans. This served as the first step towards many of an uphill trek that would make America a more accepting society. This paved the way for more ethnicities to be welcomed into America.
There is an old cliche that says, “never judge a book by its cover”. Interestingly enough, award-winning author and provider of emotional intelligence tests Dr. Travis Bradberry contends that “the human brain is hardwired to judge.” As such, today’s society places significant importance on external appearances such as race and ethnicities, but forgets everyone is human and bleeds the same blood. In fact, Bradberry argues that even though people “tend to think that our judgments are based on the content of conversations and other obvious behaviors, the research says otherwise…The majority of our judgments are focused on smaller, subtler things, such as handshakes and body language. We often form complete opinions about people based solely on these behaviors,” and things out of their control such as their skin tone or speech dialect. It seems a reasonable assumption that only an idealistic world would ‘never judge a book by its cover’, but we can change that.
“I noticed [different races] in preschool, but I was never taught to treat [anyone] differently,” says sophomore Ashlyn Athey.
Usually that is how most kids grow up, but society and social media teach us differently. Society today loves to categorize and label everything by giving people typical stereotypes like minorities are criminals, caucasians are privileged, and middle easterners are radical islamic terrorists.
“I don’t think we can prevent it [racism], but I believe we can educate people about it, at least,” says sophomore Abrianna Custodio.
Knowledge is the most effective way to start the crusade of ending racism. Knowledge is power and it propels us forward in this ever so changing world, and if people choose to be ignorant they will fall behind. It is important people understand that having an open mind does not increase vulnerability, but allows you to experience life and make better decisions. If we change what many activists have dedicated their lives to, we will be regressing. Everybody needs to stand under unity in order to teach our future generation skin does not determine how we treat another person.