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We all know it's still a problem. Hiding it can make racism even more dangerous.

There are a number of people showing signs of racism and they don't even notice it. Society today has painted a pretty blurry picture of prejudice.

Ask yourself this question, "Would I be completely comfortable living in an African-American, Caucasian, Asian or Hispanic neighborhood?"

No? Yes? Why?

We can all admit that at most times we feel more comfortable with people of our own race. It's a connection that we just happen to share. If you can remember, when you were a child did you hesitate to play with little Johnny down the street because he looked different? No? That's what I thought. It's because we didn't see black and white when we were kids. We saw people.

The only difference between prejudice and racism is that racism is the belief that your race is better than the other. So can't you see it? We fling around racial slurs and jokes as often as the Buffalo snow comes down in wintertime. Words hurt! They're pretty cold.

Let's take advantage of the fact that it's not a secret anymore. Jobs are given to the favored racial group of that little business there, and you are judged and categorized because of the way you look the moment you walk through the door here. Don't be shocked. We all do it. We all make mini "harmless" accusations about others.

What's the major effect then?

Well, crime, psychological problems and emotional difficulties. Racial profiling makes life harder than it already is.

And how does it benefit us? It doesn't. It's just another way to bully someone for something that is completely out of their control.

No one is better than anyone else. We are all the same on the inside and all have a potential to do something great for this world.

Alexis Segarra is a junior at Frederick Law Olmsted School No. 156.