Winners of the Tolerance Week Written Word Contest Announced


Ian Greigg

Hinton Middle School

A person with a different colored skin walks by.
You don’t put them down, but you don’t say hi.
Is tolerance enough?
You smile at someone with a teardrop tat,
But when they turn away you try to scat.
Is tolerance enough?
You listen to the person with a different view,
But in your mind you’ve already decided that it’s not true.
Is tolerance enough?
But if you take the time to walk in the others’ shoes,
You’d realize they’re all people, like you.
So don’t just tolerate the people that you see,
Respect them, everyone is human,
And we’re all worthy.
Respect is enough.


Honorable Mention

Barite Mohammed
South Sioux City Middle School

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate these differences”. Aure Lorde

If you look around, you see White, Black, Brown and different kinds of people. In terms of religion, you see Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jews, etc…Since the dawn of time, humans evolved in different skin colors and different socio-religious groups to adapt to their environment and satisfy their needs for survival. However, they see these differences as if it was created by the supernatural and have existed forever. Instead of focusing on their unities and celebrating their differences, humans have been discriminating against one another in line with race, religion, sexual orientation, and social classes.

As almost all of us know, Homosapiens were black, originated from Africa, and migrated to Europe and the rest of the world, blacks are the most discriminated and mistreated race ever. Because of their skin color, they were regarded as inferiors and sold as slaves for thousands of years. Even today in modern and developed western countries, racism against blacks are increasing. Last year’s killing of unarmed black man George Floyd and the recent police shooting of Daunte Writes in Minneapolis, Minnesota by White police Officers are the best examples.

The second most widely used tool of discrimination is religion. Every culture has its own way of belief systems. Since these belief systems are different, they discriminate and fight over them. Many wars have been fought over religion and many more are undergoing. Religion should be a source of positive inspiration, teach tolerance and compassion rather than being a reason for fighting.

Finally, class discrimination and sexual orientation-based discrimination are widely practiced all over the world including the western world. In the United States people are identified based on their economic class such as higher, middle class, and lower class as if they are different human species. Moreover, discrimination against people who have different sexual orientations is culturally and religiously accepted and practiced by many.

In summary, even if we have different skin colors, deep down we all carry similar genes of one human race. If fair and equal chances are given, anyone can be a good citizen and contributes to the society he or she lives in. Therefore, for the human race to survive and thrive, tolerance and brotherhood are the only solutions. ‘ We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools”. Martin Luther King Jr.

Honorable Mention

Avery Welte
Hinton Middle School

Take the Journey

You and me
Us and we
All the same but so far apart
Separated by the invisible boundaries
of what can be seen outside of our shells
of bone, muscles, blood, and flesh

You and me
Us and we
All the same but not at all
Separated by the walls of our minds
It seems to be
Your thoughts do not belong
When you are different

You and me
Us and we
Sitting in a cage of iron forged in bigotry
Where those are incarcerated for
the way the blood runs in veins,
the way thoughts flow,
The flesh on the body,
And the unshakeable strength inside

You and me
Us and we
Existing in a mere fragment of time
Does it need to be this way?
Why must the oddities and others conform
to another’s moral agenda?

You and me
Us and we
Perhaps in another world
Embraced with the arms of love
Seen as equal for the way we are
Viewed as human for who we are
A world where the true self is enough

You and me
Us and we
In a world that can be ours
A world that does not have to be a dream.
A world with open arms
Enveloping us in the warmth of acceptance
Enveloping us in the soft scent of kindness
Enveloping us in a curtain of tolerance.

You and me
Us and we
In a world we can call our own
A world just outside the window
A world waiting for us.
A world waiting for you.
Take the journey.

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