Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Which Daughter is More Beauiful?
Which daughter is more beautiful?
The one with the pale white skin, blond hair and blue eyes? Or the one with rich, dark brown skin, meticulous braids and brown eyes?
I believe most people make a choice as soon as they see my daughters together. One is considered beautiful. The other is considered...well...less than.
I play volleyball every Tuesday night at a complex in Watertown that has 8 sand courts. Over 100 women pour into the complex each Tuesday night ready to play a competitive game or two. There is a playground adjacent to the courts where many children play while their moms sweat it out on the sand. My children look forward to the scene each week.
But last night, something happened.
Isabel and Anna were playing happily when a little girl of about 5 years old asked Isabel to play.
She asked, "Will you play with me?"
Isabel answered, "Sure. And this is Anna. We can all play together."
"Ewwww. She is black, I don't want to play with her."
Shocked, my two daughter stood there speechless as the little girl then ran away.
Now I know why my kids came to sit court side for most of the evening.
I now this happens all the time. George has been called names and he has been stared at and he has been pointed at. And every time, I get angry! Now, Anna is facing it.
We tell our children all the time how incredibly beautiful their skin is. And in all honesty...I wish I had George's skin! He doesn't get red, bumpy mosquito bites. He doesn't get red and blotchy when he is hot. His skin is buttery smooth to the touch and he has natural defenses against getting sun burned. We have talked to our "white" children (come on...are they really WHITE?) about how they should view other people by ONLY their character - not their skin color. My older two have been called "cool" by the African American kids at the middle school because they never make a big deal about skin color. And.. they have even talked about someday maybe dating or marrying someone of a different race or color (when the time is right).
I hate racism.
Racism took a beautiful little girl and made her too ugly to play with. Racism causes neighbors to buckle when they have to touch my children. Racism puts up a wall around our family when we walk into a restaurant.
Parents....please teach your children! Please teach them to be a voice on the playground or on the bus or in the school that sticks up for my children. It is not enough to not say something mean. What we need more of is children (yes children!) who will say, "Stop! You are being so stupid!" to the little girl who says she can't play with a girl because she is black. If more kids stood up to the kids who say crappy things, maybe they'll stop saying the crappy things.
Posted by Traci Weldie at 6:33 AM