Vail Daily letter: Let’s break down barriers | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: Let’s break down barriers

In the United States, one of the biggest problems right now is racism. Crazy, isn't it? Why do we judge someone differently based on the color of their skin? Honestly, America, we can do better. Everyone has the same inalienable rights, according to the Constitution. I believe that the reason that we have racism in the U.S. right now is the lack of it being recognized as a problem.

In my travels I have noticed different things about every country, one of the being the way people handle differences. In Iran, people are not afraid to have their opinion voiced. For example, someone would just say that they don't like someone based on their differences. Not that this is a good thing, but the silver lining is that people can recognize their actions as a problem and try harder to fix it. In America though, we are not that upfront. Maybe someone says a terrible racist joke and everyone snickers but all of this is "hush-hush" so it's not recognized as a problem. "It's just a joke," you might say, but it is not. This "joke" is stored away in our brains and a stereotype is formed. So as we are raised in this society, stereotypes build up one by one, gradually piling on top of each other, creating a barrier between different races. We need to stop sweeping this problem under the rug or else it will catch up with us.

Sadly, it already has. In the shooting in Charleston, a white man killed nine innocent people. President Obama says, "Once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun."

The gun is not the bigger problem here, racism is. This horrendous shooting is unacceptable and this segregated nation needs to be fixed. What it comes down to is that everyone is equal and even though stereotypes can create a barricade between races, it can be broken by looking for the good in people. America, this barrier is hard to break, but we can do it if we work hard to get educated about other cultures and what they have to bring to the world.

Roxanna Chaney, age 13

Vail