Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bug asks- "What Color Are You?"

A conversation with Bug (2y)-

Bug- Mama, what color are you?
Me- Hmmmm, I see lots of colors.
Bug- Are you green?
Me- Yeah, there's some green here on my foot (I have a tattoo). See?
Bug- Yeah. Are you blue?
Me- My veins are blue. See here on my wrist?
Bug- Yeah! Are you white?
Me- There is white on my eyes. See there? And black on my pupil. And my iris is blue like my veins.
Bug- Ooooh. Are you brown?
Me- My freckles are brown. And my hair is brown.
Bug- My hair is red!
Me- Yep! It sure is. We're very colorful aren't we?
Bug- Yeah. We're lots of colors.
The earlier conversation with Bug holds so much emotion for me. Our kids don't see race unless we teach it to them, unless we pass along the prejudices which were given to us. When Josh (8y) was in public school, they gave a lesson about civil rights and slavery in first grade. Blacks and whites. Slaves and owners. The way it was presented was completely inappropriate for the audience, in my opinion.

Josh went to school that day seeing other kids for the people they were, not the color of their skin. He came home viewing the world through a different lens, one which divided people by their differences. I was livid. This was a major contributing factor to our decision to withdraw.

The system not only fails children academically. The curriculum (perhaps intentionally) perpetuates division among future generations.

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