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Thank You, Ruby Bridges
by Meenakshi C.

Dear Ruby Bridges,

People say that sometimes I exaggerate. They say I get angry easily, and I am the youngest in the class. But one thing they almost NEVER comment on is what my skin color is—brown. Things are better today than in the 1900s. Oh, sure, sometimes they say: “Oh, that marker won’t show up on your skin,” but not like in the 1900s. I used to think every problem was solved, but now I’m older and I know better.

I know treating someone differently because of somebody’s skin color or religion is called ‘racism.’ Many things hurt people, but racism hurts the most delicate parts of you—your heart and your soul. Even at the tiniest tinge of racism my heart burns and I think: “That person is still the same on the inner core. It doesn’t really matter about what your skin color is. You’re not better than him or her just because your skin is a different color.’ I think about it for a few minutes and turn it over in my mind.

It is true that some people have not been affected by Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech. I can’t believe racism still leaves tracks today. You still see paw prints of racism here and there, but that’s not right. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted us to end it completely. Just because he was assassinated doesn’t mean we can forget about him. Most of us haven’t, but some of us have.

For instance, police are stopping more blacks than whites. They say that their suspects are more likely to be black! But it’s just not FAIR, because most blacks are innocent. Also, Hollywood seems set on making fun of overweight black women. It’ll be funny to some people and will give them some popularity. It’s not funny really, when you think about it, even though some people think it is. It is like we’re having “a silent war between skin colors and between religions,” with no swords. But this is just as bad as a war with swords.

Racism is also about religion, which is very bad. I’ve heard about a Jewish person who wanted a menorah put up in an airport next to the Christmas trees. The trees got taken down because of his request, and that was not what he wanted at all. He just wished for a menorah as well as Christmas trees. He started getting angry e-mails like: “Now I see why you Jews are called traitors” and e-mails like that! This was really hurtful.

Now I must get to my point. I hate racism. I can say it all in three words. Almost all of the word’s population agrees with me, and we all should live in perfect harmony together. I agree with the picture representing peace—a globe with children holding hands around it. I send a message of “Thank You” to the person who invented that symbol. I have to say thank you to so many people: Martin Luther King Junior, Rosa Parks, and all the people who were and are involved with trying to stop racism. Something should be done about stopping racism, and some things are being done. There was a special show on CNN about racism under “Out in the Open”, and by watching it we all get a good idea of what racism is and how bad it is. The people on it are trying to stop racism, and you know what? Every single person in the globe can help, too. We should all be involved in this effort. Only then, racism will end and everyone around the world will live in peace and harmony.

Meenakshi C., 4th grade, Massachusetts

"Thank You, Ruby Bridges"

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