Raising Children Who Celebrate Differences
Let me start by saying I am white. I don’t know what it feels like to have someone think less of me just based on the color of my skin. I don’t know what it feels like to have security guards follow you around a store, or be scared to walk wearing a hooded sweatshirt for fear of my life. I don’t have to teach my kids how to respond to officers. As a white person, I have privileges that I can not change, but I acknowledge that I have them and others don’t. My family had challenges and obstacles just like many others, but the color of our skin was never one of them. I went to good schools, got into college, and easily got teaching jobs. I can’t take for granted the fact that that was easier for me to accomplish than it is for my colored counterparts. I took this important week to learn. I was like many others and didn’t know what to say; but I didn’t want my not knowing what to say, become my not knowing what to do, therefore becoming me not doing anything. I researched, I listened to the podcasts, I watched the videos and Tedtalks, I read the statistics and I have something to say. It might be imperfect, but I’m showing up. I understand it is my privilege to learn and read about racism and not have to live through it day in and day out. This is MY problem and everyone else’s.
Black lives matter, plain and simple. Yes all lives matter, but our white necks are not being kneeled on to death in the streets again and again and again. When a house is on fire, that is the house the fire department goes to save, even though all houses on that street matter. Right now our colored brothers and sisters need us. I will not be silent about this.
I am raising two white girls, and they too have unwarranted privilege and need to know love for all, and respect for differences. I will not raise them to be color blind but accepting of all colors and all humanity. To do that I need to be intentional, and a role model. Our children are always watching us. I will be an example. I want them to use their privilege in the best way possible, which is fighting racism. This is some of what I’ve learned.
How to raise children that celebrate cultural differences…
-teach real history, not just what’s in history books
-surround them in other cultures
-teach them that differences are a positive
-take them to multicultural events and churches
-interact and befriend people of color
-have books with black main characters, not just the friends
-diversify who you follow on social media
We all need to do better and be intentional with our learning. Listed below is a section for parent’s learning and children’s learning. All items are linked. Books are linked to Amazon for convenience, but I challenge you to look for black-owned book stores near you to support.
For the Parents…
NAACP:Civil rights organization committed to political, educational social and economic equality.
Know Your Rights Camp: started by Colin Kaepernick, The Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative has identified and teamed up with top defense lawyers and civil rights lawyers nationwide to provide legal resources for those in need.
Reclaim the Block: Coalition that advocates for and invests in community-led safety initiatives in Minneapolis neighborhoods.
“We believe health, safety, and resiliency exist without police of any kind. We organize around policies that strengthen community-led safety initiatives and reduce reliance on police departments.”
Buy Black Atlanta: Community group fund to support and repair black-owned businesses in Atlanta that were damaged during the protests.
Baltimore Action Legal Team: Bail fund and legal relief for the city of Baltimore, with a focus on black activists.
“BALT is committed to building the power of the local Movement for Black Lives. We take our direction from community-organizing groups who are on the ground, and we respect the leadership of local activists. BALT is committed to anti-racist practices and to black leadership.”
For the Kids…
Other things to watch
-Dancing in the Light: The Janet Collins Story
-The Secret Life of Bees
-On the Way to School
-The Hate U Give Us
-When They See Us
-Dear White People
Arts and Crafts