Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Black & White ~ and kids

From elsewhere ... back in April 2005
Would like your input...

On our way to Chicago, while waiting for the plane, an Indian family sat down near my son and me. They had a little boy just a bit younger than Jim. The two boys played together for a while (our plane had been delayed). While neither spoke the language of the other, they had a great time.

Jim and I stepped away to go to the bathroom and when we had come back, they moved out gate. When we got to the new gate, we were not sitting close to them any more. So Jim started asking me, "Where's my brown friend?" My first thought was, "How nice that he wants to keep playing." Then I realized that what he said could sound bad. He's not quite 4 and DH and I don't refer to people by color (it's not how we see people). Jim asked me why he was brown (he's into that "why" stage). I told him that God made people different. If we were all the same, life would be boring.

A similar situation happened on the way home. While waiting to board (in that long crowded walkway to the plane), we were standing behind an African-American lady. And Jim was asking me why her hair was the way it was (it was in a tight-type dredlock). Again, I explained that her hair looked good that way. Then he asked why I didn't do it to my hair. I told him my hair wouldn't look as good because it wouldn't work as well. And he asked why, so again, I explained that God made each of us different.

I haven't viewed this as any more than a young child noticing differences in people and I am working to make that a very positive thing (as in we all have differences and that's what's great about the world).

If you had overheard my son, would it have offended you? What would your thoughts have been? How would you have responded if he were your child?

My response:
I think you did a great job.

We have a good friend that is black (please don't take offense, that's how he refers to himself...) and David has grown up with Dwayne being around and I don't think he notices the difference. Now last year we had a chance to spend a day with a wonderful yourg man from Haiti, he spoke French and very little english...David took him for his first McDonalds ever. When we said our good-byes he gave David a hug and put his hands to Davids face to cup it warmly, David looked at his hands and said to us "How come he's got brown hands?". Mind you...David spent all day with him and it never came up. We explained that like Dwayne, his skin is darker than ours, it's how God made him.

Now David has an awesome bus driver named Nick, David calls him Nick

Now...I tell you that last statement because I just called him in and asked him what color we were "White" and what about Dwayne "Black" ...Does is matter? "No, because...oh I can't remember his name, but he stopped the war between the black and white people and said we should be friends"...so what is Nick, Black or African American..."He's just Nick". The boy sees color but doesn't get caught up in it, sometimes he may describe someone as black, brown or white to help ME identify which kid in a crowd he's talking about, but that's about it.


What would your response have been?

1 comment:

Thank you for sharing with myself and others!