Thank You, Ruby Bridgesby Anaiste R.
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
Dear Mrs. Bridges,
Thanks to you and many other wonderful people, I have learned so many things, just from reading the books about how you and others have made an incredible impact, and as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would say it, peaceful difference.
I've learned from reading a book about you, "The Story of Ruby Bridges," by Robert Coles, that segregation was prevalent. Then in 1960, four black girls were sent to an elementary school that used to be a white school. Many white people were breaking the law.
Another example of what I learned about segregation was about the story of Melba Pattillo. On September 4th, 1957 she would try to get to school through the angry mob like you did. Rude people were everywhere, and they would scream, "Two, Four, Six, Eight, We Ain't Gonna Integrate!" Then they would hold up signs that say mean things about you, and even though it wasn't much it would still hurt on the inside. After, they would call you cruel names, kick you, trip you, spit on you, rip your clothes off, try to hit you with a branch, throw dynamite at you, throw eggs at you, and make you feel scared, just because a little image difference, but you and the other many people made me proud and kept strong.
It's like picturing that angry mob as a stampede of elephants running around you and you just walk right through it, hoping and praying that everything will be OK, and you have the biggest confidence in you that everything will be OK, because you know on the inside that those mad people don't really mean what they say, and you are one hundred percent positive that what they are saying is not true. Like some people say, "Don't worry about the way you look, worry about the way you act, because everyone is beautiful in their own way."
I know that you and many others suffered so much to keep your tears inside, and when I read all of those books I've learned from, I suffered to keep my tears inside of me. If I had to go to a white school all by myself with just luck from my dad saying inside of me, "You are dad's brave little girl," I would start to cry like a fire hose that was on and I would run away. I wish that I would have the confidence like you had, and I bet 99 percent of the world wishes that they had the same thing. Most people that I know don't have what you have. If they were in that angry mob like you were, we would not pray to God and ask for forgiveness, most of us would just go to one of them and say, "Leave me alone you jerk, or you better watch out or I will be under your bed tonight," and everyone will start a fight and someone will get hurt or maybe die, and that is why I am going to do what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Do what is right peacefully."
Like most other people, I think segregation is totally wrong. The reason I think segregation is wrong, is because it is not fair. All people should have equal rights. White people aren't great lions, and black people aren't ugly monkeys. We are all the same, so black people deserve the same as white people deserve.
The reason I think segregation is crazy, because it doesn't make any sense. For example, if you take two iguanas and one is a white person and one is a black person, if you put one iguana in green leaves, the iguana will turn green. If you put the other iguana in dirt, it will turn brown. Then if you switch the iguanas they both will turn different colors. So, all iguanas are different colors, but it doesn't matter. They are all still iguanas. They are the same, which is the same with us. We are different colors, but we are the same!
If there was still segregation today I would never fight it, I would change it. Which means I would never break it, I would work very hard to change it peacefully. For example, Martin Luther King Jr. stopped segregation so anyone could sit anywhere on the bus by telling everyone to stop riding the buses. Nobody can get hurt and the city loses money, so they had to stop segregation.
I think segregation is still going on around this world and our country. Yes, people think life in the U.S.A. is perfect. There is nice weather, kind people, and everything seems like it is in order. Well I think no, animals are being treated unfairly. People think they can just put them in space to see if we can breath up there. They test new shampoo on them just to see if it can turn their fur pink, or make them have more fleas, or maybe see if they can get killed. Animals are a bit different but once it becomes your pet it's an animal, then after a week it's a friend, then it's family and you love it. You would anything to keep that pet with you because you love it. It's like your favorite big sister. People don't care what they are doing to them like the white people felt with us and that is why I think that is another way of segregating.
So when I grow up I will try my best to stop people from testing things on animals. Now picture that you are in the middle of a tornado and you are at the shelter under ground and you just noticed that you left your pet at home which is a block away. Would you go and try to save your pet and yourself or would you just not care like the other people that do test on animals and let your pet that loved you so much die? So, those are my feelings about animals and segregation.
Anaiste R., 6th grade, California
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