What a white boy taught this black woman about resistance
Our homeschool coop tried a version of the blue eyes/brown eyes exercise in the 6- to 10-year-olds’ history class. I knew it would be interesting, so I settled in to watch, not guessing how much I would learn.
The two parent teachers had cookies, but only the brown-eyed children were allowed to have them. The blue-eyed children sat empty-handed while the brown-eyed children enjoyed their cookies. Most of the blue-eyed children waited patiently, with hurt and confusion evident on their faces.
It didn’t start with Trump. This country has been steeped in policies that discriminate by race and ethnicity and more than that since before it was a country.
But we’re seeing all of that peak in this time of incredible turbulence. We have a president many of us believe got into office not in spite of, but because of, his ugly, divisive rhetoric around race and ethnicity and other dimensions of identity. We’re seeing high-profile incidents of police brutality alongside The Movement for Black Lives, Standing Rock, talk and movement about building a wall, Islamophobia reaching new heights in the proposal of a Muslim ban and a registry. We’re all affected by this turbulence, some of us more directly than others. And our kids are feeling it, too.
“You can’t be two races. You have to pick one: white or black.”
“Those are the only two options?”
Confident nods all around.
“What about me?”
Pride in Not Seeing Race = White Privilege
A Facebook post by mom Lydia Rosebush from Louisville, Kentucky went viral. In it, she brags about how her 5 year-old White son befriended a Black boy and does not see race. Here’s what she and those posting it as a sign of hope are missing: This is the epitome of White privilege and color-blind racism.
“….He said that he wanted his head shaved really short so he could look like his friend Reddy. He said he couldn’t wait to go to school on Monday with his hair like Reddy’s so that his teacher wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. He thought it would be so hilarious to confuse his teacher with the same haircut.
Here’s a picture of Jax and Reddy from their Christmas program. I’m sure you all see the resemblance.
If this isn’t proof that hate and prejudice is something that is taught I don’t know what is. The only difference Jax sees in the two of them is their hair.”Kids do see race by the time they get to be 5 years of age. Research shows theyalready have racial bias and favor Whites.
ADVOCACY & ACTIVISM
PARENTING & MENTORING
RACE + ...
RACIAL & ETHNIC IDENTITY
SCHOOLS & EDUCATION
TALKING ABOUT RACE WITH KIDS