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Through the Eyes of a Child

June 19, 2006

Over the weekend, my children saw someone who appeared to have a deep dislike for black people. Not accustomed to this, despite living in an area where racism and prejudice linger on, my kids were shocked. Then, showing a complete lack of seeing an ethnic group as a whole, for which I am thankful, one child said, “Mommy, are you black?” I am considered to be white on forms with little check boxes, but the appearance of my skin is far from white. Some would say we should use terms like Caucasian and African-American, yet we have friends who are 1st or 2nd generation American citizens who are from Africa and yet would not be considered African-American. Perhaps trying to put a term on an entire group of people is the problem.

In my immediate family, we have a Caucasian, 2 of Slavic/Turkish descent, one Asian, and one of Asian/Caucasian descent. I fear these lessons and eye-openers will be coming with more frequency. Where does this leave us? For me, sad that my children were now made the tiniest bit aware of racism and yet thankful they were unaware for so long.

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