Letters from Academy School

Racism needs to end

As society moves forward, we forget about problems we consider to be out of date and irrelevant. I'm writing to you about a problem of the past that's still a problem today; racism. A mere 31 percent of whites believe that racism is still a serious problem, as opposed to 68 percent of blacks. This means that less than half of whites in our entire society still views it as an imminent threat to society! Now, let's dive in to racism today, an idea seeping through the cracks of our society, and poisoning the minds of many.

I believe that whites get paid higher wages than Asians do. According to the Center For American Progress, Asian American women earn 90 percent less than white men do. This means that whites have much higher wages than Asian Americans.

I think that the legal system is not colorblind. According to Sagepub, 25 percent of Los Angeles Police Department officers they surveyed said that officers held a racial bias for minorities." This means that one out of every four officers said that police were racist! This suggests that the legal system is in fact not colorblind.

I believe that racism is still a problem. According to PBS, "51 percent of whites between the ages of 17 and 34 rate blacks as lazier than whites." This illustrates that more than half of whites judge blacks as lazier. This proves that racism is still a problem.

Those that disagree with this letter entirely might say that racism isn't a problem. After all, 69 percent of whites agree that racism isn't a problem. However, 68 percent of blacks think it is a problem. This shows that racism does in fact still exist.

Those that oppose me might also say that "They can't be educated." In spite of these arguments, racism doesn't affect your ability to learn. This blatantly proves that race doesn't affect your ability to be educated.

So, that about wraps it up with racism. Only one more thing before we come up to the surface again — what can you do to help stop racism? Well, I have a couple of ways you could do just that. A simple option is to just spread awareness. Maybe mention it to a coworker, a friend, a peer, anyone. If you wanted to get a little more involved you could donate to the Australian Human Rights Commission, an organization in Australia dedicated to protecting human rights. Racism needs to cease, and with your charitable donations and support, we'll definitely progress towards obliterating it.

Zain Salam

Homelessness is not a crime

It's hard to believe that there are a lot of homeless people in Vermont. Homelessness is when people are living in a place not meant for humans to live, permanently. For example, someone living under a bridge in a tent. I believe homelessness is an issue in Vermont. I live in Brattleboro and I have experienced seeing homeless people walking around downtown. I know they are homeless because they are carrying a lot of belongings with them, they do not look very clean and their clothes are old. People need to be more aware of homelessness and we need to take care of each other. What if you lost your job or got kicked out of your house? Would you want help?

The Vermont Digger stated that, "The 2014 Point-in-Time survey counted 1,556 homeless Vermonters the night of Jan. 28, including 227 people who said they were victims of domestic violence and 371 children." The Vermont Digger also noted that Windham county in 2014 had 170 homeless people and that Morningside Shelter in Brattleboro had a waiting list of 36 households or 72 people. The Drop-in-Center hosts an average of 30 people a night. Brattleboro doesn't have a 24 hour place that homeless people can stay at. So, on the weekends or after school, children have no place to go, or might not even go to school. This means they probably feel bad, and it also might be hard for them because they would be thinking about there parents and be stressed out. Also, they wouldn't feel safe.

Homelessness is getting better in some states. For example, the 2016 Point-In-Time County Report found that in Vermont homelessness went down 28 percent since last year.2 But homelessness is still a big problem. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, "34 states had decreases in overall homelessness while 17 states saw increases. 40 states had decreases in the number of people living in unsheltered locations including cars. Despite improvement in employment the number of people in poverty (4.8 million) and the poverty rate (15.8 percent) remain relatively steady. 26 states saw an increase in the number of people in poverty, 25 saw a decrease." This means that in some parts of the US homelessness is getting better, though not everywhere. In general things are staying about the same.

According to the National Coalition of Homelessness, a lack of affordable housing and assistance programs, plus foreclosures and poverty all contributed to homelessness. In 2013 the Housing Wage was $18.79, while the hourly wage was just $14.32. This means that a lot of the houses are expensive and people can't pay to live in them. It also means that the regular people even can't pay the minimal amount for upkeeping their house. You need to pay maintenance, the bank loan (mortgage), taxes, plus food and gas. It's not just a house, you need to pay for other things too. It is expensive to own a house or even rent a house.

Some people think that homelessness is not a big deal. But homelessness is a big deal. Besides more poverty, the National Coalition of Homelessness stated that government housing assistance fell by 50%. This means that the government was not able to assist as many homeless people as before. Also it's a big deal because people don't have anywhere to put their stuff. They don't have a bed to sleep in also they don't have a desk to do their work. Also, you need an address to get a job or paycheck.

Some people think Homelessness is a crime. It is not a crime and everyone deserves to have a home. Homelessness can also be caused by a lack of affordable health care, domestic violence, mental illness and addiction. Everyone has to sleep somewhere and if they don't have a bed to sleep in then they have to sleep somewhere. It's hard to not have a house because you won't have a bathroom to clean yourself, it would be hard to get rest. Also, you wouldn´t be protected from the weather.

One solution to homelessness is permanent housing. The Coalition for the Homelessness says, "By stabilizing people through shelter, moving them into permanent housing, and implementing assistance programs to keep them in their housing, we can not only reduce, but eliminate, homelessness in New York City." I think this solution in New York City could help other places in the world too because if we give them a place to stay and sleep then there wouldn't be anymore homeless people or there would be less homeless people. Also, it would help him to get there life back on track. A second solution is to prevent people getting kicked out of their houses in the first place.This would make homelessness in Brattleboro go down. You could help is you can make a donation to the Coalition for the Homeless,they are a great organization for ending homeless.

Musi Stenn


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