This is a story about Racism

Essay by jabeeHigh School, 12th grade March 2003

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I am tired of racism. It is rampant in all forms of society. Even here, in Canada, where racial bias supposedly does not exist. It is mostly hidden, existing almost exclusively in the minds of a few ignorant. Recently, however, I was victimized so blatantly that I had no choice to become enraged.

Racism is nothing new to me. In the span of my entire life, I have been subjected to various forms of this discrimination. An Indian child, growing up in a predominantly Arab community, my daily life was plagued with the disease. Being kicked off soccer fields that my friends and I were first to start playing on, just to allow Arab children playing time was commonplace. Snide remarks by hosts in restaurants about "dirty Hindus" was the norm. It was almost as if contempt for Indians was expected of Arabs. Children are taught from their early years to exemplify these traits exhibited by their parents and relatives.

Even policemen, who are expected to be the epitome of indiscrimination, are not exempted of the prejudice. If a local is responsible for a car accident, a few words in Arabic to a policeman is all that is required for the blame to be passed on to the expatriate. It is not feasible that an Arab could be remotely responsible for so minor an incident. I was constantly in shame of having the brown skin colour, trying hard to lose the pigmentation I had been cursed with since birth. Numerous tubes of "whitening creams" and gallons of sunscreen later, I was treated no different. I was ashamed of being Indian.

One would expect my fellow Indians to be more sympathetic towards me. Yet once again, I was an outcast. My less than perfect Malayalam caused me...