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.
On February 28th, 2017, EmbraceRace Co-founders Andrew Grant-Thomas and Melissa Giraud had an illuminating conversation with people who submitted questions and with our special guest, child psychologist Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith. Here’s the recording. The transcript and related resources follow.
“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.”
But an abundance of research shows that by 5 years old, the age of these two boys, kids do see race and already have racial bias and favor Whites.