Thursday, May 31, 2012

a lesson that shouldn't be taught

i know racism is learned

i hate it, i've heard my younger cousins use words that make my stomach turn... but they were 10ish... young but an "older" young...

we had brother bear in the van over baby bear's bday weekend

our neighborhood is culturally diverse... and as we drove down the street there was a young black man walking on the sidewalk. he didn't look sketchy, just a guy walking in his own neighborhood... and from the back of the van i could sense brother bear's attention perking up... he said... mommy mommy... that's a... a... it's a bad word.

i said, yes brother that would be a bad word.

even though the word was never spoken it broke my heart that this young 5 year old knew that word.

then... further breaking my heart... mommy - he's a bad man.

this child does not know this man from adam, we live in an area far from his foster parents and far from his bio-family.

my answer.... "brother, you don't know that man, you don't know he's a bad man. just because he's black does not mean he is bad."


"do you know white people who have made bad choices?"

brother - yes...

"just because someone makes bad choices doesn't make them bad.... and choices can be made by anyone no matter what color they are.... right?"

brother - yes mommy...

"people who have made bad choices, they can work on making better choices. we can pray for them to make good choices"

brother... can we play on the swing...

moment gone... but hopefully lesson learned...



  1. So sad:( God placed you in his life to influence for the better, and you are. You may not witness the full harvest but you are helping plant those seeds.

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  3. I like the way you handled that. We are working with that issue with our children. Segments of my children's b-family had significant prejudices and my children also had numerous traumatic experiences that involved people or other races, in addition to people of their own race. We teach that it is normal to feel concern when they see someone who reminds them of a person who harmed them in the past, but that it is important for them not to stop there, but to recognize that this is not the same person--just someone who has something superficial in common with the person who harmed them. My kids feel ashamed of their PTSD reactions to people because they know they aren't supposed to be prejudiced. But the fact is that they are terrified of being hurt again. When serious trauma is involved, these issues become so much more complex and difficult to resolve. One day at a time, we just keep working away at it.

    1. Sorry, that should have read "people of other races" instead of "or." I deleted my first comment, corrected that typo, then copied it to the new comment and it switched back in the process. Argh!