The first time I experienced discrimination was when I was in grade two.
I was in a grade 2/3 split class.
I made friends with a boy in the class; we'll call him Kevin. His sister was also in the class; we'll call her Lisa.
Kevin and I used to make jokes in class together and do whatever it is kids in grade two do. Then one day, Kevin stopped talking to me. I didn't know why, so I asked him.
"My sister," he said. "My sister told me I can't talk to you anymore."
"Why?" I asked.
"We don't talk to your kind..." he replied.
My kind? What did that mean?
I ran home and asked my mom. She told me that was nonsense and I was to march into class tomorrow and talk to Kevin anyway. (In hindsight, I don't know why she didn't just tell me to speak to the teacher, but anyway.)
The next day, I went up to Kevin and was immediately stopped by Lisa.
"You will not talk to my brother, do you understand? If you do, you'll regret it, whitey."
I was scared. I looked around the classroom to see everyone staring at me (maybe my mom didn't tell me to go to my teacher because my teacher was never there. Seriously, where was my teacher when this happened?).
After that, no one in the class spoke to me. I was quickly outcast by my peers, regardless of their colour.
I learned very young that discrimination can happen to anyone. As I got older, I learned that racism affects religions and cultures, not just skin colour.
Maturity taught me that a persons skin colour, race, culture and religion are not things to define them by. We may not be the same skin colour, we may not be the same race, our cultures may be different and we may have different views on religion, but that doesn't give us a reason to not give each other a chance.
"What you allow is what will continue. It’s always better to spend more time alone than allow negative people and their opinions to derail you from your destiny."
Moving on, I tried to ignore negativity and bullies. In grade 2/3, I'm sure Linda was too young to understand what she was saying. As I got older and continued to experience discrimination on other aspects of myself, I walked away. Sometimes that's all you can do when someone projects their insecurities onto you.
Have you ever been discriminated against?