Combating Racism: Starting at Home
Anna has experienced multiple different cultures and races since she started school. She started preschool in southwest Littleton and most of her class was white. Then we moved to Champaign, Illinois where at least half of her class was black. Now we are in Edgewater and at least 80% of the children at her school are Latino.
Our hope is to expose our girls to the way the world will be, not the way the world is. Part of this is experiencing and building relationships with children who are different from them.
But today I realized that this battle of combating racism is a hard one.
As we were driving out of the school parking lot and experiencing lots of traffic, Anna yelled from the back seat, “It’s those darn Mexicans!”
Where did that come from? What led my daughter to say something like that?
I immediately scolded her and told her that we don’t talk that way in our family and explained why. But I was genuinely surprised that she would say something like that.
Just because our daughters are around children who are from different cultures and races, we still need to be more diligent in combating racism that so quickly creeps in. We have to be purposeful and intentional is breaking down stereotypes, helping our girls look beyond societal racism and build relationships outside their own comfort zone. I have to work on it myself.
This is the only way we can cross race boundary lines and create a world where situations like Ferguson, Missouri become more rare. But it begins in the home and talking honestly about racism.