A letter about racism and social issues.

Dear Future President,

Every day, I pass a house. Simple and small. Nothing is there but a small sign in the window. It reads “Black Lives Matter”. And every day that sign makes me think. Why is that sign needed? Why is it in the window? Because it’s true. Black Lives Matter. But, not everyone thinks that.

It’s racism that the small sign in the window stands against each and every day. Not just against blacks, but against all minorities. And one day I hope that the sign isn’t there. One day, I hope it isn’t there, so that the small phrase “Black Lives Matter” is no longer needed.

As a census in 2000 proved, there are 63 racial combinations(“Race History”). When you think about it, we can’t afford to have any of those groups discriminated against. They are human, just like the rest of us. Though racism was a serious and more widely spread problem in the time after slaves were freed, it has dialed down a bit. In the 50s and 60s the lines started to blur and communities became more diverse. However, a survey taken by CNN in November 2015 stated that 49% of people thought that racism was a serious problem(Sholchet).

In the 17th century African Americans were first brought over to be slaves in America. In 1863 Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. Yet, studies show that in one out of every five job interviews a black person goes to, they are racially discriminated against. And in the year 2003, it was proven that 50% of black men were unemployed(Fleshman). The Black Lives Matter movement stands against racism and hopes to make life easier for the African Americans in our country.

Of course it is not just them. Records of other forms of racism are still out there, even if they do not receive as much attention. During World War II, a boat full of around 900 Jews was denied permission to land on US soil, and forced to return to Europe(Siddiqui). Only a third of the people on the boat lived through the war(Siddiqui).

Also during World War II, Japanese Americans were put into internment camps by the American government. Though the conditions were better than the ones set up by the Germans in Europe, they were taken out of their lives to live in these camps. In the book Farewell to Manzanar, a young girl tells her experience in one of these camps. Later she goes back as an a adult with her family, when she is safe.

Moving forward in history, September 11, 2001. After that Islamophobia, which is racism against Islamic people and Muslims, became a very serious problem. Positive opinions of Muslims have been declining since 2005(Siddiqui). There have been many surveillance on Muslims by the United States government(Siddiqui). And of course with recent terrorism, Muslims are being labeled as terrorists.

Another part of racism is against Native Americans. Though the problem is not huge, it is still there. Most Native American tribes were wiped out, and years ago the government forced the remaining tribes onto reserves. Native American tribes still exist, though they are not forced to live there. An interesting fact is that Native Americans have the highest suicide rate of any racial group(Siddiqui).

Also they are unfairly portrayed in the media as killers and in the way for settlers. But, they were here first. And because of European settlers, most tribes have died out. I think that regular people should start to pay attention to this problem, because we might not even think about it.

And finally a form of racism that isn’t really a thing, but people think so. Racism against white people. Some white people think that they suffer from the most serious racism(Marcin). It may be true where they live, or to the people that they know.

Of course there many other forms of racism exist and are out there. One type is racism against Mexicans. This has become shockingly more relevant this year, due to the elections, and Donald Trump’s hateful comments that have made everyone question his credibility, more than we already have. Some other forms are against Latinos, Hawaiians, and other racial groups.

I know that you have heard this before and probably know some of these facts, but I want you to change how everyone lives and make America a better place for all racial groups. And maybe America would be a truly great place for everyone.

Sadly these are all the types of racism that I can elaborate. But please, change how they live. It would do everyone so much good, and I want it all to change someday. I hope if you get the chance to read this letter that you agree with me.


Paige H.