Friday, July 30, 2010

Race Relations

Nto sure what is going on with Marin, but she is peppering me with questions about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. Basically, what was going on with white skinned people to the extent that Rosa and Martin had to do what they did.

I explained it in the context of bullies. You know, the white skinned people used to bully the brown skinned people until the brown skinned people decided to not take it anymore and the brown skinned people got all the rules changed so no more bullies are allowed.

Marin understood that, then asked why the bullies still happen.

Me: It doesn't happen much anymore, Marin. The while skinned people and the brown skinned people get along now. Look at how many white skinned people love you and Emmy.
Marin: Only in my family.
Me: What are you talking about?
Marin: Not at school. It's not like that at school.
Me: What do you mean?
Marin: Well, on the last day of school, a lot of kids come up to me and said "I didn't like you at the beginning of school because you had brown skin and I thought it was gross, but I like you now."
Me: Seriously? Who said that?
Marin: Everybody except Molly and Vee.
Me: speechless

So here I am thinking everything was great at school. Marin loves school. She actually is bummed when she has school vacation. She seldom shows signs of being bullied. I am not sure what to do with this.

3 comments:

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Christine said...

Sigh. Well, at least she told you about it. As for what to do with it, I'm not sure, it depends on the kid. Alert her next teacher that this happened? Maybe she can do something to promote a better environment in the classroom.

Lynette said...

I know what you mean. We like to think that kids don't classify or judge other kids by their skin color but then you encounter a moment when the reality of a parent's influence or a fear of what's different from yourself kicks in.

I'm serving as the Children's Ministry Coordinator at an Ethiopian church and when I'm with the kids I don't think about race, of course... I often forget I'm white. :) But a couple weeks ago I used a phrase I've used a hundred times with other groups of kids and discovered that a few of these kids have had that reference used against them as a racial slur. I never gave thought to any implied meaning because it was said by a white woman to brown-skinned kids.

Sad, really.

Oh... and we just call my friend Meron "Mary". :)