No Mommy He is Not Black

Monday, October 4, 2010

“Put your shoes on, we have to go,” the mother instructed. “Mom, where are we going?” the kids all questioned. ”We have to run an errand it won’t take long,” cheerfully the mother responded, “Now come on we have to go.”

Everyone loaded in the car they began their drive out of the neighborhood. The youngest of the three children sat in the back seat opposite her mother, just lost somewhere out the window. “Lynn, what are you looking at?” her mother asked, “isn’t that where your new friend Pete lives?”

The child’s eyes lit up with joy, “Yes mommy and there he is!” she exclaimed and began to wave frankly as the car drove past. The small young boy playing in his yard did not see the car as it drove past, he did not wave back.

”That is your new friend?” the mother asked. “Yes, mommy he is in my class and we walk home from school together,” her youngest said proudly. “Lynn, you did not tell me he was black,” the mother said sort of matter-of-factly. To this Lynn looked her mother straight in the eye and responded…

”Mother, he is not black. He is from Chicago.”

The mother just laughed, she had done her job.

This is a true tale of my younger sister; she actually said this to my mother. I relate this story to you because my siblings and I were not raised to be prejudice or to bully. In fact we were taught to stand up for those whom are perceived as different. Not that being black is different, it is just my personal story to illustrate how even the obvious difference we were taught not to see.

My question to you; how do we make children realize that being different is not a disease? That not understanding only means we still have room for knowledge? That we all are worthy of understanding and most of all love?

Sorry, still sick and this bullying thing just struck a chord in me. I’ll try to get around to all your blogs today but my head still weighs 5 tons.



19 comments:

Kathie @ Just a Happy Housewife said, 

I think it just helps if a child is raised around people who are different from them. Children tend to accept what they are used to...I student taught Kindergarten and there was an autistic child and down syndrome child in each class. I worried about how the children would treat them, but they were just fine. Maybe it's adults who need the teaching!

October 4, 2010 at 11:06 AM  
Aleta said, 

I wish more people taught their children the way that your Mom did. My Mom is a beautiful person, but because she looks different (she has albinism), she was teased horribly as a child. I enjoyed reading your story; it's one of hope.

October 4, 2010 at 11:10 AM  
MT said, 

We see without boundaries when we're young, but the older we get, the more we let our fears get in the way.

"He's not black. He's from Chicago." That's great!

October 4, 2010 at 11:18 AM  
Carolyn Abiad said, 

I think exposure to different peoples and ideas is the key to equality. It opens our minds.

October 4, 2010 at 11:30 AM  
KarenG said, 

That's an awesome story, I loved it! Thanks for sharing, and I sure hope you feel better soon.

October 4, 2010 at 11:32 AM  
Paula & Skip said, 

Hope you get better soon! The story cracked me up!

October 4, 2010 at 11:33 AM  
Clarissa Draper said, 

It scares me that I might raise my kids to think of others as less than them but I think I did a good job. My son is mixed raced and I think he's proud of that.

CD

October 4, 2010 at 11:54 AM  
N. R. Williams said, 

I used to tell my children, "It pleases God to create many differences in people. He treasures them all. Like vases, if we could only have one flower vase, one color, one shape then that would be boring." Hope you like that analogy.
Nancy
N. R Williams, fantasy author

October 4, 2010 at 12:20 PM  
Karen Lange said, 

Sweet story. Now if we could all see things through a child's eyes, we'd be better off. Thanks for sharing.

October 4, 2010 at 12:21 PM  
Arlee Bird said, 

Parents need to set the example. My parents had all sorts of people visit us and they treated everyone with an equal respect. I try to do the same. Even when I don't agree with another's values or lifestyles, I am courteous and respectful toward them, even when they are not always that way towards me. Niceness usually wins out.

Lee
Tossing It Out

October 4, 2010 at 12:44 PM  
Journaling Woman said, 

I'm with Lee, parents teach by example.

Sorry you feel badly, Get well.

October 4, 2010 at 1:37 PM  
Alex J. Cavanaugh said, 

Your mother taught you well. I've lived all over and never understood prejudice.

October 4, 2010 at 1:44 PM  
welcome to my world of poetry said, 

Children don't know predudice it's only the adults pointing out their own is when the trouble starts.
Good post Jules get well soon
Yvonne.

October 4, 2010 at 3:25 PM  
The Words Crafter said, 

First with my brother, then with my nephew, and now, with the kids in my classes, I know that to give a child some kind of answer is better than trying to avoid or change the subject.

Whenever I encounter a question that has a typically complicated answer, I give a short, simple, matter of fact reply that stays away from anything that would cause a child to form a negative opinion of the subject matter.

If a child has an accident at nap, well, they just had an accident. If a child needs glasses, well, it's how their eyes see. If a child has parents of differing races, well, that's their mommy and that's their daddy.

One of the keys is very effective when they're little. Don't add drama-present it as an everyday kind of thing, not out of the ordinary or special in a dramatic way. They tend to accept this readily and go on about their business....

October 4, 2010 at 7:11 PM  
Gail said, 

A wonderful story

October 4, 2010 at 7:56 PM  
OJ Gonzalez-Cazares said, 

my two nieces are mexican-americans and they are growing up knowing that their tita (my mom, their grandma)speaks spanish and "funny" english, that in they go to Mexico were they have fun and play with lots of children, that they learn hebrew songs in school as well as chinese words and spanish rimes and that their classmates are all their friends - if you ask them, they don't tell if they are black, blue or red... they tell: he is funny or she is my friend. That's the spirit I want them to have!

October 4, 2010 at 7:58 PM  
Rayna M. Iyer said, 

For me, in India, it is religion and language. Most of the kids that my two play with have already been taught so much hatred, I worry for my kids. But they are above it- my older one actually took on someone for saying something mean about someone from another community.

October 4, 2010 at 11:05 PM  
Lisa said, 

It's not wrong to see differences - we're all different from each other - but it is wrong to act as if people that are "different" are somehow less than you. It's nice you were raised in a household where differences were honored :)

October 5, 2010 at 10:10 AM  
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