Wed08202014

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Prejudice over physical appearance reveals skin-deep attitudes

I stood, surrounded by unfamiliar faces. Incoming freshmen acted as if they didn't even know their own friends. But being a transfer student from Miami, I knew no one anyway.

This is lame, I thought. But as our pod leaders leaped over each other in "Leap Frog," and lay on top of one another in the "Memory Game," I, as well as other newcomers around me, began to loosen up.

I went home that day having made a ton of new friends, and decided that the day of school I almost slept in for turned out to be not half-bad.

I was excited about school the next day, as my mom dropped me off in the back parking lot. I looked around for Jen Garcia or Gabby White or any of the friends I had made the day before. When I didn't find anyone I recognized, I went to class to avoid looking like a newcomer.

When I went out to break, I finally found Jenny. She was with a group of boys and girls hanging out right outside the science wing. I skipped over to her, grinning. As I arrived at the circle, Jenny looked up at me almost as if I were some alien and I didn't belong within a 1,000 miles of her or her friends.

"What?" she asked me. So I said hello, as if maybe she didn't get the point that I wanted to hang out with her and her group. But she just turned back around. As I glanced around at every person in her group, I noticed that they were all of Hispanic descent.

I walked away quietly, secretly devastated, and wondered how could it have been that she was so nice to me the day before and now acted as if she had never met me? I wandered around looking for Gabby next. When I found her, I took a double take and glanced around to see whom she was hanging out with. They, too, coincidentally, were all of African American origin, as was Gabby.

"What?" I wondered to myself. I decided not to walk up to her and her friends, as a way of avoiding another potentially humiliating situation. I ducked into the nearest classroom for the rest of the break so that no one would see how much I felt like a loser by myself.

I walk out to break and lunch every day and see the same scenario. Why do we separate ourselves by the way we look? Am I not allowed to talk to anybody but "Whites?"

What makes them my own kind? And it is not just race; it's the popular girls in the popular crowd, or the abled from the disabled, the Asians (labeled "whiz kids" ) from the slackers. Separation by physical appearance is everywhere. There is a specific reason that it is not just classified as racism, classism or any of the rest of the prejudices out there.

Because if we all looked the same, no one could discriminate unless you actually got to know the person underneath the wrapping. So think twice as I remind you of the clich/, "Don't judge a book by its cover."

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