I finished my spelling test first. So I walked over to the library corner and flipped open a Magic Treehouse book. The tallest girl in our class was done next. As I saw her approaching, I put away my book and asked her if she wanted to play 'house' with me.
All she muttered was, "I can't play with you because you are darker than me," and walked away.
Tears welled up my eyes. I fought it. In first grade, I was scarred. I felt alienated. How could she just come over here and say that to me?
From that moment on, I became overly self-conscious. Whenever I walked, I felt as if I was being judged for my skin color and I tried my hardest to not identify with my culture. Back then, I thought that my culture made me the odd one out. These years of misery persisted because of that one comment. It took me a long time to come out the shell I carved for myself.
But I did.
I did and I rose up stronger and more independent than ever.
Exposure to this type of discrimination at such an early age (I was five!) made me aware of the harsh reality of the world. And I don't pity myself for having to go through such a harsh time in first grade. If anything, it made me the person I am today-immersed in my own culture and respectful of the plethora of other vibrant cultures that exist around the world.
I understand that eradicating the world of all prejudices and discrimination is unfeasible. However, since my first grade loneliness, I have been making sure that nobody feels neglected. Everyone has the right to be comfortable in their environment, especially at school. People are unaware of the effects of stereotyping. A simple discriminatory comment can set an individual's life into a whirlwind. Making sure that everyone is looked at beyond their skin color is what matters to me. No first grader should have to be denied as a friend for such a reason.
Feedback please :) Be harsh!!