Thank You, Ruby Bridgesby Gosuke K.

  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8

Dear Ruby Bridges,

A girl taunted, “You are never going to be my friend because you are Japanese!” After seven long years, those words are sill burned into my brain.

I moved from Japan to the United States when I was 5 years old. After living in Japan for two years, I was so excited to return to the United States where I was born and raised. However, the excitement was completely shattered when I took my first walk around the neighborhood. I’m Japanese. I know my parents came from the country that dropped bombs on Pearl Harbor. However, it is difficult for me to accept such discrimination because I don’t think I can be responsible for it. I believe that there should not be any racism because it is not fair to judge people by their appearance and racial background.

Racism makes me feel furious because I think it is all right to be different from others. The “colored” were discriminated from the whites, because the colored looked different. “Never judge a book by its cover,” is a phrase that describes this.

I can connect to the scene in “Ruby Bridges” when Ruby was nervous the morning she had her first day of school. My first day of school was several days after I experienced the shocking incident during my first walk. We can change racism by accepting and celebrating the fact that people are different from each other in many ways. I feel that such discrimination can create unnecessary conflicts and emotional damage. We can solve problems of racism by noticing that we should never judge a person by their appearance and educating people about the problems of racism.

Racism also makes me feel miserable because I do not feel that we are appreciating and respecting the contributions of our heroes who worked so hard to change our society. We haven’t thanked enough the people who made equality and freedom. Some people have sacrificed their lives to get equality and freedom for everyone, and we’re just sitting on top of the already made society. I strongly feel that we need to thank our heroes such as Martin Luther King Junior and Harriet Tubman by enhancing our society even further. I believe that education of our history is the key for making a difference.

Racism makes me furious because looking different or thinking differently shouldn’t be a reason for being discriminated against. Although we still have problems with racism and discrimination in our society, we should stop this problem from spreading, learning what the “colored” people faced or what Jewish people faced in the past. We all need to care for each other and always think before we speak. For the world to stop racism problems or discrimination, we should first accept the differences between others, and be proud for what we are.

Sincerely,

Gosuke K., 6th grade, California

"Thank You, Ruby Bridges"

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