All my life I have heard racism, sexism, and judging a book by its cover on the news. I wanted to do something about that. Personally, I think everyone should be given a chance to let someone know who they are, not just be looked at and judged. So I conducted a test. So I wrote about it. This is it. In my opinion, everyone, even if you look like a guy on America's Most Wanted, no one should judge you. In this story, that happens.
First grade: An important year on deciding my career, believe it or not. The teacher walked from desk to desk, asking each one of us, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I rolled my eyes after hearing, "Fireman" or "Police guy" or "Superman" or "Wrestler." I, being unique, gave the most unusual answer.
"Racism, sexism, and any other 'ism' protester," I said. The teacher's eyes bulged. "Jessica," she said. "We need a parent-teacher conference." I went home that night with my plan for life. "I hate judgments," I thought. "So I'm gonna be against 'em."
Now I am twenty-four, and I'm going to do something about it. I made a test. It was simple, easy, and would prove if the world judged people by appearance. All I would have to do is disguise myself as a gangster, enter Wal-Mart, and see if the security let me through.
So I hired a make-up artist. She made me look like a tough-guy in hours. So here I am now, standing at the Wal-Mart entrance. I stepped in, holding my breath. The security guard gave me a look.
"You're comin' with me," the man commanded.
I sighed. Sure enough, I was judged by appearance.
The man led me to his police car. He ordered me to get in the back seat. I put on my best man-voice.
"What did I do?" I asked.
The man drove to a prison. "You'll see."
I was in a dark room. A T.V. was in a corner. The security man was talking to an another cop.
"Let's show 'im," said the cop.
The security man agreed. They flicked on the television.
On the screen, was a man that looked just like my disguise. America's Most Wanted flashed.
"This man," said the host, "Is named Brad Stone, a disgusting criminal. He is accused of murder, fraud, and prison-break. He's wanted in Northern Ohio, where he allegedly killed an old notorious gang-rival. He's also wanted in Arkansas where he broke out of prison. Brad Stone is thirty, weighs two-hundred-forty pounds, and is five-foot-nine."
My jaw dropped. He looked exactly like ME! The cop was on the phone.
"Yeah, America's Most Wanted? We got him, ya know, Brad Stone."
I went ballistic. "I didn't do it! I'm innocent! I made a test! This is a mask! Please!"
All of this was said in my shrill girly voice. I put my hands at my hairline and tried to peel off the disguise. Nothing. Smoothness. No crease between mask and skin. I insisted that I wasn't a villain. The mask was stuck! It wouldn't peel off.
They slammed me in a cell.
"I'm not Brad Stone! I'm Jessica Parker!"
I sat in my cold cell, alone.
Brad Stone was under the pseudonym George Bartholemew. He had just gotten away----free. He used a mixture of glue and paint to glue a mask of his gangster face to a girl's face. Jessica Parker. He was clean! She was in jail, and he was free. There was no way that stuff would come off.
A boy sat in a chair. "I wanna be a gangster for Halloween. But I need some authentic make-up," he said.
George, or Brad, went to work.