Dear Next President,
My name is Laura Robinson and I live in Philadelphia, PA and I’m a student at Olney Charter High School. Something that disturbs me today in America is the unequal rights that we have; especially surrounding ethnicity. Racial discrimination is a problem in America that I’d like to talk about because it not only affects the lives of those who are discriminated against but it’s also affecting the lives of those who are discriminating.
My experience with discrimination began at the hands of the other children in elementary school. I was different from the other kids and while I was trying to make new friends and start an education, I wasn’t very successful with that. Discrimination started in first grade. Because I was black, it was an automatic “I love fried chicken, kool aid, and my real dad ain’t here” stereotype. And despite the candor in these accusations, eventually the jokes turned to insults. I couldn’t walk down the halls without someone calling me a racial slur and, because of my weight, a fatass. Because of appearances it was difficult for me to live a normal childhood or fit in with any of my peers. If only there was someone back then to tell me how my life would turn out because of these stupid jokes then maybe things would have been different for me.
Imagine if the new generation of kids had to grow up with these allegations, accusations and hateful communication. How will they be able to get jobs? Buy a house? Go to school? Be successful in life? They can’t. They won’t be able to because of the hateful comments thrown their way because of how they look. Because you may not have experienced discrimination like I have you might now understand. But consider this, kids who are discriminated against have a harder time surviving in this world rather than kids who aren’t discriminated against.
Everyday on the street I see families who are poor, struggling to raise their kids in this wretched world. Not able to get jobs because they’re hispanic or because they’re black or because they have tattoos or because they’ve been in jail before or because whatever. Families are out here struggling because those who are discriminating against them won’t let them get any jobs or get into any good schools or even feed themselves. It’s sad that you have to see a child grow up homeless because their parent or guardian can’t get a job and make any money because of stereotypes. Tattoo’s don’t always scream “ I’M A DANGEROUS SERIAL KILLER” or “ I’VE BEEN IN JAIL FOR MURDER”. Ethnicity doesn’t always mean, “ Oh, i’m hispanic and I hit my kids with chanclas” or “I’m black and all my kids eat fried chicken and are ratchet” or “I’m asian so that means i’m smarter than you”. Being quiet doesn’t equal ignorance, Being from the hood doesn’t equal unintelligent, being born a certain way doesn’t equal stereotypical discrimination. Equality for everyone, no matter race or appearance, is what the world needs.
As someone who has been tormented by my peers and ridiculed by others, I have a lot of experience with unequal stereotypical discrimination and I can tell you beforehand that it is not fun and a bit inhumane. As President I assume that you won’t be able to change others’ behaviors because even you cannot control people’s behavior, I would appreciate it if this letter was at least vet over. Thank you and good luck in the White House.
Sincerely, Laura Robinson.