Dear Mrs. Ruby Bridges

By Isabelle Rose Shevitz

There are many things wrong in this world and also things that are wrong in a community. In my community, there are a few subjects that I am deeply concerned about. One of the main problems that I am concerned about is racism. Another problem I am concerned about is the bullying in my school.

In most communities you can see these problems, and you wonder when you will see the racism where you live. When I see racism, I wonder, “What made these people say or do all of these horrible things to this person?”

In my community I see many different kinds of prejudice that are directed to different kinds of people. I see it directed to Jews, African Americans, and other ethnicities. Often, I see that at the airport, Arabs and people that look a little out of place are thoroughly searched. I know that rules might be just for the matter of security, so everyone can be safe. People could be separated and then searched without the person being embarrassed.

There are also times when I see an African American sitting down next to someone else, and then that person will try to scoot over to the far end of the seat. Then that person will sometimes turn a little red.

The other problem I wanted to discuss is the problem of bullying in my school. In my school the bullying isn’t the kind of bullying you would expect at a regular public school. Instead, the bullying is usually cyber and verbal. When people do cyber bullying, sometimes a group will gang up on you and randomly start to talk to you all at once. Then they start to insult you and talk rudely to you. This has happened to me before. For my bat mitzvah, some people ganged up on me and told me to invite people I didn’t know to my celebration just because they had a crush on that person. Then when I refused them, they got “scary,” and started a rumor saying I was stupid for not inviting their friends.

Verbal abuse has happened to me before as well.

When I went to a summer camp, I was the only dark skinned camper there, and the kids there would always look at me weirdly. When the kids did this to me, it made me feel sad and very mad. I didn’t know what to think at the time, but I couldn’t help thinking, “Why would they do this to me?” I, of course, did make friends at the camp, but many people outside my age group wouldn’t talk to me. During breakfast, all the kids would just stare at me when I walked into the mess hall.

After a week they kind of stopped staring at me, but I still felt excluded from everyone else except from the girls in my bunk. Even though I had a hard time at social times when the whole camp was together, the kids in my bunk were much nicer than I expected.

These are the kinds of problems in my life.