By Marty Loftin


In elementary and middle school, I was the odd man out.
I may not have been the only white kid, but I was the only one covered in freckles. Despite being called Freckle Face by children who sought to hurt me with their words, I now understand that I was just a scapegoat.
Later when I needed glasses, I became Four Eyes, and then Harry Potter for a year or two despite not looking anything like young Daniel Radcliffe.
My unpopularity was not because I was really that different from my classmates, but because bullies are like predators who attack the weak.
I know this because when I had the opportunity, I would make fun of anyone else lower than me on the social totem pole. I feel bad about bullying kids in the same boat as myself, but I don’t feel as bad about the bullies I popped in the mouth for going too far. Even though it was only a few really big jerks that messed with me over the years, their taunting marked me in the eyes of others until I did something about it.
I learned how to defend myself, both physically and verbally, and learned that the bullied were the ones I really wanted for friends.
After a few years of fighting off bullies and matching mean words with meaner words, I learned that racists are just bullies who never grew up. They are cowards who act tough, but fold when confronted.
We need to confront racism and stomp it out. It is a tool used by the strong to keep people down.
Racism is a tool used to bully and harass anyone of color, and in some places awful stereotypes are used to justify injustice.
We as a species are like crabs being boiled alive. We use artificial concepts of race to pull each other down into that boiling water and we fail to recognize that if we worked together we could escape the ruthless cycle of discrimination.


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