March 2003
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Thoughts on Race
By Casey W., Grade 12, Fredericton High, Fredericton, NB

I recently returned home from a trip to New York City. As I strolled the streets of downtown Manhattan I was intrigued by the diversity of people in that city. Aside from Caucasians, there were Mexicans, Pakistanis, Chinese and Blacks. However, as I walked further north and came upon Harlem I experienced a feeling of uneasiness.

I couldn't quite pinpoint the cause of it at first, but it later became all too clear. This was an area inhabited entirely by Blacks. They were bustling around my friend and me - the only Caucasians to be seen for miles.

This sudden shift from being in the majority to a small minority was alarming. But why was I suddenly so uncomfortable. I had black friends in Fredericton and I had never even had an unfriendly encounter with someone of that race. Was my fear honestly caused simply by the color of their skin? I gradually became accustomed to the dark atmosphere; however I gave a sigh of relief as I entered back into Manhattan where I snuggled back into my position in the Caucasian majority. I continued on walking along Central Park West and into Strawberry Fields (John Lennon's Memorial) as I reflected on this experience and saw the meaning of it.

I naively used to believe that racism was not a prevalent part of our society anymore. The fact that I was judging these people by the color of their skin, though, was racism in itself - which could lead to many dangerous scenarios. You may say I'm a believer, as John Lennon put it, but I honestly hope that someday people will not be judged by color and that the world will truly live as one.


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