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Word Count: 1,100
Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you goes one playground rhyme As children many of us are taught to just put up with the potty-mouths but we all know that words can really hurt a person Although we can learn from them words that breathe hate are no good When obscene words are directed at us they can cause just as much pain if not more than a hit When people start to use obscenities with ethnic or racial slurs it can push some sensitive buttons in all of us From my experiences the combination of obscenities and racial slurs cause the most extreme negative reactions from people As a child of Filipino and Mexican ancestry growing up in a nearly all-white upper-middle class neighborhood in La Mirada was not always fun Though I did play with the other neighborhood children whenever some became mad they would say some words that would really hurt me They would sometimes cuss at me or call me brown boy ching-chong or dirty yellow Although the cursing started a few scuffles here and there it was not really too much of a problem to me because it did not make me too angry or sad What did hurt me were the racial slurs that they used on me Before moving to this neighborhood from Cerritos I had never heard bad words from other children directed towards me nor had I even had a concept of what race was Hearing things that degrade someone who is different can make a profound impact on their well being It made me hate myself inside for what I looked like on the outside yet at the same time made me hate them for what they were I le arned at an early age that words of hate can bring us down to feelings of sadness hatred and disgust and that this was much worse than the
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