In the summer of 2011 my family and I took our traditional trip to Orlando, Florida. Every year we go there to “escape reality” for a few days. I was super excited! When we got there we were hungry so we stopped at Taco Bell to grab a bite to eat. I noticed as we walked in an older Caucasian lady dressed in all black was staring at us, and as we took our seats close to the table she was sitting at, she moved. Shortly after we sat down, another African American family entered and the same lady went outside and took a seat on the bench. She re-entered after a short period of time and as she walked by us and the other family she mumbled under her breath “niggers”. I was stunned and hurt. I had heard about racism and blacks being treated badly in history class but I never thought it would happen to me. My grandfather complained to the staff and asked to have the woman removed, but they refused. The lady continued to stare and give us disgusted looks. Even with her glaring at us from across the room, we stood our ground and did not leave, no matter how uncomfortable we felt. I then understood how Martin Luther King, Jr. felt at the sit-ins and boycotts he led. This incidence opened my eyes on how far our country still has to go to get to that place of peace and equality that my ancestors prayed for so long. It also helped with my choice of future career, to tour the country speaking to people about the problems of race relations. I hope to open other people’s minds to this common problem and to minimize it. United We Stand and Divided We Fall not only should apply back in the 1700’s, but it should apply even more in this day and time. Our country cannot advance if the people will not stand together long enough to let it.
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