As the snow covered the house that my grandma occupies, I looked
out the window to the neighbor's front door, their mailbox, and the circular
driveway they had. It was just another home, where kids could build a
snowman or throw snowballs on the front lawn. But there where no children
or snowmen here. And beneath the snow, the word 'N-I-G-G-E-R' was
written in the grass. A family- a home- where they had bothered no one. One
night someone decided to take weed killer and burn it in giant letters into
their lawn. This is why our nation, the melting pot of many races, needs to
confront the problem and deal with what really is in front of us.
When I first really thought about this, I thought, this is not
Mississippi, or Alabama; this is Michigan, and it's in my grandma's
neighborhood. And the thing is, their a normal family, just like any other.
They went on trips in the summer, and spring, and this time came back to a
message on the lawn.
I sat there that day watching cars go by their house as if it were
haunted or something. I guess it can happen anywhere. But this snow-
covered house is still a reflection of America, white on top with a hatred
burning underneath. I go to a college, where the races meet every day.
Colored man helps white man; white man helps colored man. Doesn't sound
right ? That's how bad our society has gotten. Disturbing? Of course. But
what is more disturbing is, lately when these issues of racism have come up,
there seems to be impatience and annoyance. 'Does everything have to be
racism?' people ask. And they're always complaining that 'It's just a little
thing.' No, it's not.
People are always saying that there is little prejudice. But how is that
true ? It's like saying you're a little pregnant; can't happen. But this is
nothing new. How many times have you heard 'He's fast; for a white guy.'
Or 'White men can't jump,' Or 'All black guys can jump and dance.' And in
reality these are all hateful things to say. As whites, we are the majority, and
don't always realize it. And whenever there's racist complaints, we say 'OK,
we'll change' with a sigh. It's the white's who go crazy to get black athlete's
autographs. They say 'We love you!' yet how many would let them date
Although I say this, I do believe that some progress has been made.
But I do think that when you're the majority, you do have to guard against
insensitivity. But you can't drag it half way up a hill and then abandon it,
because it will fall down. I believe that 'we,' as a society, have made a
considerable effort to decrease racism, but no matter how hard you try get
rid of it, there will always be prejudice brewing in the air. And even though
we would like to forget about the problem, we can no longer avoid it. Racism
is an issue that should to talked about and explained, so that people with
little understanding to the issue can finally open their eyes.
The next time I went to my grandma's, I walked her dog down the
street past the neighbor's house. A lady was out in her garden, and I yelled
'HELLO!' She smiled and waved. I felt awfully good after that, like I had
done something, something good. It wasn't much, a simple 'Hello' but it felt
like a thousand words. But as I walked past the house, the snow reminded
me of what was beneath it, the message spelled out in weed killer. A
message so horrible and torturing, that people don't realize what it's like
until your put in their skin, in their situations, in their minority, in their
minds, and live the experience. But this doesn't mean, however, that they
should be treated better or differently than anyone else because they're a
minority; I believe in equal opportunity for everyone and that terrorizing or
vandalizing a different race than your own shouldn't be tolerated.
To put race into terms, I believe 'racism' and 'prejudice' intertwine
with each other. You basically pre-judge a person because they're not the
same as you, wether it be their color, how they speak, or even the way they
walk or go about their everyday life as a human being. We then treat the
people who look the least like us differently, like they're from some other
planet. But this is not so; we need to understand that because America is the
melting pot for many kinds of races, we, as a nation need to take more care,
to be a little more sensitive to others, so that all the ingredients can be melted
together as one, instead of the whole batch separating from each other and
eventually ending up with a mess rather than an example for other nations to
Although I speak strongly on the fact we need to sharpen up as a
nation, I don't think it's up to a particular race or group of people to set the
standards for the rest of us. In order for racism to dissipate, it has to be a
decision we all want to contribute to. I think we are still a long ways from
getting everyone on the same page, although we have made great progress
from what we were, we still have many miles to go before someone can say
'What is racism'? For being racist isn't power, it's ignorance, and if you
could be of a different race for a day, you probably would never say a bad
Racism has become one the biggest issues in society today, and many
people--from the President to a kid off the block-- are trying desperately to
be heard, and make that difference come to life. Many people don't actually
think about racism they just use it, as an excuse or as a way out of dealing
with what the actual problem is. Most of us know the problem, but it's up to
us to try to find the ingredience to solve it, it's a case that you can't let slip
from under your arms or it will get away on you, quickly. But we must first
face reality, and deal with what we can day by day and step by step. For it's
the only way to try dissipate the bold strength of the word 'racism'.