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Dear Dish-It: My Skin Color is Different

Jan 23, 2012

Dear Dish-It,

Everyone in my school is white; I’m like the only one that is dark-skinned and I get picked on all the time. I’m getting tired of it, but I don’t know what to do.

KK63

Dear KK63,

Picking on someone else because of the color of their skin is not only racist, it’s also bullying. And both are very serious issues. Here’s my best advice for you on what to do…

Bullying 101

Being bullied or picked on is no fun at all, and it happens all too often for a variety of reasons that usually have to do with being different in some way, shape or form. The first thing you need to know is that what’s happening to you is NOT OK. Know that you are in the right and the kids that are picking on you because they feel you are somehow “different” than they are, are WRONG. With that knowledge, you can take the next step to correct the situation.

Tell Someone

It may seem scary to tell someone about what’s happening to you, especially if you’re worried that it will make the kids who are picking on you angry. But it’s important to get the right people on your side – people who can really help to make the racist bullying stop. These people include close friends that you really trust and caring adults like your mom, dad, teacher, principal or school counselor. You can even tell your family doctor if you like – he or she will likely have some good advice for you. If you’re worried, you don’t need to let your bullies know that you are reaching out for help. You can do it without them knowing, and let the people who care about you start dealing with the kids at your school who feel that racism and bullying are OK.

Build Your Self-Esteem

While you let the adults handle the bullies in the appropriate way, there are things you can do to make yourself feel better about your situation at school and fitting in. Start smiling at and talking to kids in your class who seem friendly and see if you have anything in common with them. Better yet, join a club or after-school class or team that does something you’re interested in – like band or arts and crafts or soccer – where you know you’ll meet other kids who enjoy doing some of the same things as you. You can also work on self-improvement, which means learning and doing things to make yourself happy about being you, like taking a martial arts class or learning how to cook. Feeling better about yourself and knowing what a good person you are inside will help you to realize that people who bully you about something like your skin color are only doing so because, deep down, they actually feel really bad about themselves.

Have Your Say

Has this ever happened to you? Got any good advice for KK63? Leave your comment below!

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