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.


Healy Family said...

It is shocking to me that in this day and age it is still happening. And it makes me feel even worse when I realize that kids say things because they have heard their parents say things. Our oldest son is Asian (born in Taiwan) and he has also faced his share of racism. It breaks my heart. I was horrified one day when one of my daughters (adopted from Ukraine 2 years ago, she will be 13 this summer) said to me one day, "Chinese people look weird". I was so happy our son wasnt there to hear it.

God bless your beautiful children - every single one of them.

fullplatemom said...

How sad! We live in Madison and I can honestly say that people usually do the opposite. They WANT their children to be friends with the well-behaved black children that are in our home. They go out of their way to befriend them, invite them places and let us know they are accepting. Sometimes, it gets a little annoying as well. Kids are just kids, when will people learn?


Bear Creek Mama said...

Yuck! I hate to hear that this has happened. I remember a day last fall when Caleb came home complaining that he "knew" no one wanted to sit next to him at school because he was black. Yuck! My heart was so broken. I do believe that the mere fact of our brown children living in a white community help others to "see" that they are people just like they are. By the end of the school year all the children were his friend.... Sadly, they sometimes have to endure the very unfortunate wrong actions of others along the way. I wish it was different.....

amymay said...

That's heartbreaking! Of course both of your daughters are beautiful, equally God's creations and its so sad that the world can't see that. My son goes to a school that's pretty diverse and we've talked about being friends with people because of who they are and not what they look like. But you make a good point, its not enough to just not say something mean. We need to confront it.

Thanks for your blog!