The Way My Elementary School Delt With Age Disparity

2115 Words Oct 14th, 2016 9 Pages
The way my elementary school delt with age disparity was by assigning each second grader a fifth grade “buddy.” I really wanted Jonah for my buddy. He was the coolest kid at school, and he liked baseball, just like I did. Like all the fifth graders, he was really excited to have a younger buddy and excitedly jostled his way into the room alongside his classmates. My teacher gave each child a half sheet of construction paper cut in a specific pattern - whoever’s paper matched mine would be my buddy. Mine was red, as was Jonah’s. It seemed too good to be true. I felt delighted but became confused when I realized that Jonah was looking at me in a weird way, with a sort of pity and fear in his eyes.
“What’s wrong?” I asked. The look didn’t fade from his eyes.
“You’re black, aren’t you? You must be a part of the METCO Program,” he replied, his words long and drawn out as if he thought I couldn’t understand.
I didn’t really understand at the time, but as a seven year-old, I was labeled. A ten year-old white American boy marked me as black. Because my skin was a little bit darker than his, he made a set of assumptions about my race and intelligence that were entirely false. I am half Indian and half European, so my skin is naturally a lighter shade of brown typical of my ancestors from Punjab.Why is it that despite centuries of our nation fighting racism, it still persists in 2016?
But what are we fighting over? Race, but what is race? Biologically speaking, it relates to the…
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