March 3, 2006

WARNING:

Serious blog coming through!
Stop here if you were hoping for more underwear adventures or pictures of
Jäger’s dangerous bootie. Better luck next time!


In case you missed the memo, I co-teach a bunch of active 6 year olds every Sunday in primary. The kids are a handful, but I’m lucky to have a partner that I LOVE - she’s a lot of fun and the fact that she runs a daycare is really pretty convenient. She’s also from Liberia, so obviously, she’s black. WELL, last week one of the boys was acting nuts (as he often does; either he’s the sweetest kid ever-saying things that will melt your heart, or screaming he’s going to die if he doesn’t get a snack) and when I tried to send him to the other teacher he said this to me:

“No! I don’t like her! I like you because I only like white people!”

Wow.

Not trying to hide my shock, I reacted. I held the little boy in my lap, looked him in the eye, told him how horrible his comment was and explained how we’re all God’s children. I tried hard to make it clear he should never say something like that again. Needless to say, I wasn’t his favorite anymore and he went to cool off in the back.

I know this kid’s parents, they’re kind and loving and definitely not bigots, so I know he didn't learn any racism from them. However, this really made me think about where and how kids learn acceptance and tolerance - or vice versa. With so much prejudice still prevalent today, I feel the only way to make a difference is to teach children about diversity and tolerance when they’re young (and to get pissed at them when they make ignorant racist remarks). At the very least, parents need to take time to address these issues at home.

Nonetheless, the sad truth is that we all have the glorious gift of free agency and there will always be crazies in the world to pollute the minds of innocent children. It seems that all we can hope for is that as parents we don’t screw up our own.

2 comments:

verniciousknids said...

I totally agree with you about teaching kids about diversity when they are young - and telling them off when they make ignorant comments.

Good post.

Gargantus said...

Mostly i think they shouldnt watch The Family Guy until they know those are just shock jokes.