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This I Believe - Episode 17

Preston Butler
Preston goes to Guilderland High School, and is currently in the 9th grade. He plays soccer and lacrosse for the school team. He enjoys playing the trombone, occasionally with some other people. He would like to travel to different countries and see the world. But one thing that he would especially like to do is be able to walk into stores and shop without being followed and asked, “Do you need help?”

Racism in the World

By Preston Butler

I believe that there should be no racism in the world. There are many people that are accepting of people of different races. They respect the work that famous anti-racists fought for, so that people of color could live equal to others. But there are also many people throughout the world that still have racism raging within their souls. These people make life more difficult then it needs to be.

I am an African American male living in this world. Sometimes there are moments in my life that make me very angry because of the way people treat me simply because of the color of my skin. There are many automatic stereotypes that people hear when they see a black man walking down the street. The most common one is that he is going to commit a crime. And don’t let him be with some of his friends, bank robbery in session then. It is not right to judge just because a person is walking down the street with his friends. What right does anyone have to do that? Absolutely none at all!

I have been racially discriminated against many times throughout my life, and I am only 14 years old. I walk into some stores and automatically feel eyes watching me. One time when I went to Canada with my earth science class, I went off by myself to a section of the store. I happened to look behind me to find one of the employee’s eyes glued right on me. So I just turned around and continued to look at the products. I casually looked up again, to find yet another set of eyes plastered to my body. I began to feel awkward because of their staring. I went back to looking at a cool slingshot that I had picked up. I heard a voice from behind me say, “You need to put that down.” I turned to see one of the employees that was originally staring at me standing there. I asked why, and he told me I was not allowed to touch the slingshot. So I put it down, and went back to some of the earth science boys to show them the slingshots. They are white. They all picked one up; the employees did not say a word.

Another time I was at a church convention in Buffalo, and everyone in my group of six black boys went to the mall. While in the mall we stumbled across a furniture store for the second time, seeing a group of white boys sitting there for a good ten minutes. We decided to take a quick rest. After sitting for about two minutes we heard the lady employee tell us we needed to leave. We asked why, and her response was that we were just not allowed. We told her that we just saw another group of boys sitting here for a while. That’s when she said we had to leave or she was going to call security.

We continued walking, and went into Dick’s. While looking at the basketball socks an employee asked if we have an adult with us. While he was talking to us, we saw another group of white boys walk right by the employee. We said they did not have an adult. She completely ignored our comment and demanded that we leave the store within three minutes.

These occasions were not fair at all, yet they are very common. These are the very situations many people fought for years ago to try and prevent, but they still occur. I feel very angry when this happens, but I just remember people like Martin Luther King who used non-violence to make a change. He remained stead fast in keeping his composure to try and make a difference.

Some people do not care about equality for all, but I do. This is why I believe we must end racism. Racism will most likely not die completely, but if people could release it from their spirit, the world would be a better place.


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