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Top student essays on Martin Luther King’s legacy: Lexie Walker

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Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013 7:11 pm

Many people all over the world have been harassed in one way or another because of their religion, race or color of their skin. If this makes you feel bad for those people, imagine what you would feel like if it was someone closer to you, like a family member.

I would not only be devastated for my family member, but most of all, very angry. I would never want to hurt the person who hurt my family, but I would definitely want to bring them to justice.

After an attack by the offender, the victim may feel depressed, unwanted, not safe and awful. I would help support my family member by comforting them and making them feel safe. I would try and lift their spirits by talking to them and trying to help them understand that words and actions are sometimes hurtful, but you can overcome sadness and fear you felt by them.

I would want to be very involved in every way after my family member had been a victim of a hate crime. After helping my family member try and feel better, I would want to confront the attacker, if I could, and talk to him about why he did what he did.

I would want to know why he did the crime and why he thought it was OK to hurt another human. If the attack had been something really bad, I would definitely get the authorities involved, because they would need to be punished for what they did.

If I could make the world a place without these hate crimes and slurs, I would. I can’t do it all by myself, so I would get my school involved. We could form a club to encourage and bring awareness to people to stop making these comments about people of different races or religions. I would make speeches about this and have discussions about it. We could even have an assembly with some victims who could tell us what it feels like to be attacked in this way.

If more people understood what it felt like or heard it from someone who it had happened to, maybe they wouldn’t do it to other people. Outside of school, I would explain to my neighbors and anyone who would listen what it feels like to be a victim of a hate crime and what we could do as a community to help.

I think I would react in different ways depending on if it were a slur or a vicious, physical crime. If it is a slur, I would be very upset at the offender and want him to pay for his actions.

I wouldn’t report him to the police, but try and educate him and make him see how his words hurt just as much as something physical. I would maybe have him attend one of the assemblies or sit down and talk to a victim of a hate crime so he could understand how deeply words hurt.

If a family member was the victim of a hate crime more vicious than words, the first thing I would do is to call the police immediately. There could be serious injury or even death from a hate crime. I would do all I could to help the police find the person and bring him to justice.

Harassing or hurting people just because they are a different religion, their skin is a different color or they believe in something different than you is just horrible. It can cause deep, painful hurt that they may never be able to overcome. Everyone is different, but we should treat each other the same. Just like a piece of paper, if you crumple it up and step on it and then try to straighten it out, it will never be how it used to be.

I believe that if we all teamed up and stood together, we could put a big dent in hate crimes. I think educating young kids about what a hate crime is and what it can do to a person both inside and out is the first step. If people were taught at a young age what not to do, we could reduce the amount of hate crimes in the future.

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