teaching racism

A friend was over today and while our kids played together, we chatted as moms do. Friend said that her young daughter had come home from school one day and told her that she had a crush on a boy. The mom then said to me that this boy was “black”. She didn’t say the word black, but rather mouthed it to me silently, as if being black were this awful, horrible condition that is not to be spoken of out loud.

I looked at her and said, “oh…is that an issue”? To which she replied that yes it was. To which I retorted, “because that’s not an issue for me”. The Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 11.53.58 PMconversation continued, but the subject was changed to crushes in general rather than the color of said crushes’ skin.

I was really unsettled by this exchange. Granted, our kids are too young to even have crushes or be thinking about such things, but that’s not the point I want to make here. This child has no idea that she “shouldn’t” have a crush on someone of another race. But she will be taught that this is wrong and unacceptable. It has perpetuation of racism written all over it.

I would have liked to have probed the mom for her reasoning behind this viewpoint but I didn’t push it. Her daughter sees this boy the way we should see everyone. As equals. Not as less than. Not as someone she shouldn’t like and admire based on the amount of skin pigment they happened to be born with.

Kids aren’t born racist, they are taught it by their parents.

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2 thoughts on “teaching racism

  1. cacramer says:

    I witness displeasure in my Father’s eyes every time I interact with a black person, because I revert to the Ebonics learned growing up on the streets of Ellicott City.

    To me it is akin to him regaling fun times in Europe with project mangers from ESA in the German language.

    He is coming from have been mugged in in an area of Chicago when he attended the University; whereas I was caught on the streets of Baltimore in search for pharmaceuticals at night when I was mugged. I know it is to be mugged, or be the mugger; so, the mugging went smooth, I was held up for minutes.

    City folk are hungry, and if hunger is not an issue, they do not want your kind around!

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