America the free?

Savannah McMahan, MYP Journalist

We have political rights, but what about the right to pursue happiness?

The Declaration of Independence states that everyone in the United States of America have the right to pursuit of happiness. What if we want to pursue happiness, but we can’t? America says that it’s a free country, but do you feel free? Is everyone free from racists, homophobes, body shamers, ableists, bullies, and sexists? The answer is no, people get judged and shamed every day, and it is an ongoing problem. No matter who you are you’ve had an encounter with adverse people. Nowadays people of any age can and will be shamed for anything, whether it’s something they can or can’t help. When most people think about others being scared they think of an adult, but things like this can start as early as the second grade. “It started a few years ago, some kids were making fun of my religion. They told me to go back to where I came from, since I am Hindu they just assume that I’m from India, but I’m not, I’m from New York. Those kids were just making fun of me for something that I couldn’t help, and it made me feel insecure.” Says former MYP student Isha. Another student by the name of Shannon Gockerman went as far as saying “even if the situation is dealt with, you still get labeled for life, you mentally label yourself and your peers label you.”

Adverse people have so much negativity that not only do their victims catch it, but so do the witnesses. “Whenever I see someone being made fun of I feel upset, I feel this because it’s sad to know that people are so unhappy with themselves that they feel the need to reflect that onto someone else.” Says Jackson Fanelli. This seemed to be a popular answer, being that ninety five percent of people interviewed answered it this way. When asked “Why do you think that people do this, this being treat other people negatively.” They each replied with, “Because they feel bad about themselves and they want other people to feel bad too.”

If any of this has ever happened or is happening to you just know that you aren’t alone if we join forces we can get through this together. We are like misfits and just like on the island of misfit toys we belong somewhere, because no one should have their right to obtain happiness stolen.