Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Blurring the Lines Again

As we all know, last month was Black History month. It was also a month filled with learning for my kindergartener. She learned about several presidents, including our current one (and his dog). I am very proud that she's learning so much about our country and the people who have made this land great. But one thing concerns me.

Before February, my daughter was colorblind. I don't mean in the literal "she can't tell the difference between orange and green" colorblindness. I mean racially colorblind. She knew that people have different skin colors and we've taught her that everyone is unique. But we have never discussed race in our house. And hadn't planned on it.

One day my five year old came home and said, "Mom, I'm glad I'm white."


Of course, this facilitated a (calm) discussion in which she proceeded to tell me that they learned about Martin Luther King, Jr and how he was shot "because he was black." She then told me that she looked around at the students in her class and "felt sorry for the black ones." I explained to her in the best way I could about the way things were and the way things are now. I also explained to her that it's ok to be proud of who you are, but that she needs to also realize that we are all equal, no matter if we are brown, black, blue, or green. She seemed to understand.

We've had a couple of conversations since, and each time I have reminded her about equality and loving others.

I just hope she continues to see everyone as equal. As things are right now, she still plays with all kids of all races, genders and abilities. Please let her continue this way of thinking all of her life, blurring the lines and breaking the social boundaries that have been set up by our predecessors. I would hate for her heart to be changed by the views of people she meets.