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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

'Dear Dr. King' by Ben Gellman, GMS, first place

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dear Dr. King,

Since you made a stand for civil rights in the U.S. and all around the world, the nation has become less racist and accepting of all people no matter their race.

You showed the world that if you want to make a stand for something you believe is not fair you can make a difference in the world, if you work hard enough. Your work alone will not be enough to fight off racism because even today there is still racism in the world. Racism will never go away completely because there is no good without bad but racism can become the minority and be seen as unacceptable in our society.

My hope for the future is that we can engrave in kids' minds from an early age that racism is not okay. Not just racism against people because of the color of their skin but racism against their religion, their heritage, or any other thing that makes them different from most other people.

Yes, that is a lofty hope but it is not an impossible hope anything is possible if you try your best. You made me realize I as a Jewish person need to stand up to racism not just against Jewish people like me but against all hate groups because I know it is not fun to be on the other side of racist jokes. If you were to relive your life in my shoes what would you do in some of the situations I'm in how would you persist in your cause without feeling as if you're not actually accomplishing anything?

My parents have always taught me that you should treat others as you want to be treated. This idea has been reinforced back at school with racial lessons and Olweus our bullying program at my school.

Even with all this help from my teachers and my parents it is still hard to do the right thing even when I know what the right thing to do is. Even though we as a nation have come a long way from the segregation era our youth is infected with racism because of the TV shows they watch some make fun of different races, religions, mental retardation, whether somebody is gay or straight, and many other racist things.

I know you fought against racism, and I wonder what you would do in some of the situations when kids are just throwing around racist jokes like it's nothing?

Sincerely,

Ben Gellman



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