Albino teen gains self-respect with rap lyrics -

Albino teen raps for self-esteem

One teenager has been the victim of discrimination, but it's not because of his skin color. Instead, it's because he lacks skin color completely.

Albinos are often the target of bullies and misunderstanding, but this teenager is fighting back against his skin stigma with a vivid display of courage.

His ultra-blonde hair, gray eyes and white skin have made him a target of the curious.

"We get people staring at him as we walk past and people ask, 'Is your mom or your dad white?'" said LaTorya Parker, whose 13-year-old son Robdarius is an albino. "A little boy told him that he was a disease, took a wipe and wiped the seat down, said he didn't want to sit in the seat behind him."

Albinism is a genetic condition that occurs in all races and results in little or no color in the skin, hair and eyes.

Many people with albinism are sun-sensitive and all have vision problems.

Robdarius said he's been bullied and criticized by other people and the social stigma of being "different" is, at times, overwhelming.

"He thought everyone was against him, so it was real hurtful," his mom said. "I used to try and explain to him, but he couldn't understand. He just was wondering ‘Why? Momma, why am I so different?'"

Now, Robdarius is learning to take the stares in stride by rapping, something he started doing two years ago while his mother was listening to some tracks.

"I felt that it was an escape for me," said Robdarius, whose alter ego is called RobenX. "RobenX is a bit cocky. He's smart and he's very hyper. He has a lot of swag and he likes to chill back a lot."

Robdarius said his music and his increased confidence have changed the way people see him.

"Kids actually come up to me," he said. "They don't call me the 'white kid' anymore. It's ‘Oh hey, Roben. How you doing, Roben? When you going to put out a new song Roben?'"

And his mom loves the changes she's seen.

"RobenX says ‘I'm loving who I am,'" LaTorya Parker said. "'My white hair is beautiful. My gray eyes are beautiful. I love me.' I love RobenX and Robdarius is growing through RobenX as a person."

It's the gift of self-love that Robdarius and his mother want to share with others who are ostracized for being different.

"There's a lot of kids committing suicide today because of bullying - people not understanding who they are," LaTroya said. "Just to change it for other people with albinism and help them out to feel more confident than usual."

When Robdarius isn't crusading against bullies and going to school, he works on his music and hopes to bring a new face to the rap world and new understanding to the world about albinism.

Robdarius has worked on an anti-bullying campaign in Florida and is working to start his own foundation for people with albinism.

Robdarius' rap inspiration is Eminem and he says he would love to meet the star.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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