Originally Posted by lolar2
I wanted to address a fear I'm seeing between the lines of some of these posts. I am getting the impression that some of you who are white (like me), are worried that teaching your children about race and racial prejudice and about the specialness of Obama's election might make them become racist. I know I've heard some white parents express that concern IRL at various times. Rest assured, teaching your children about race and the past and present forms of racism will NOT make them become racist. There is NO evidence that it will.
I think that is part of the resistance to seeing "colorblindness" as part of white privilege, even though of course it is. In some cases a white parent who actually is working very hard to prevent her children from becoming racist, but is going about it in a non-ideal way, finds herself being told that her strenuous efforts in that direction are themselves an expression of white privilege. It looks like a no-win situation at first glance.
I think you said very clearly what my fear is. I'm afraid that if I have a talk about racism with my son and it "comes out wrong" on my part it will make him view black people differently, perhaps with fear. I'm also not sure because of his age whether he will understand that these things happened in the past, i.e not to a boy his age (I'm talking about slavery, jim crow etc...).
I think starting with the positive might remedy that. Talking about Obama ofcourse, Martin Luther King Jr.
I do think things are different for children these days though obviously institutionalized racism will take a lot of effort and time to overcome. My ds sees black characters in every single tv show he watches, he will see a black president govern the country, and in our case we live in a city where racism is discussed and the black community is pretty empowered, though many problems still exist. For example I don't think a single non minority was murdered here this year. Three young black men have been murdered in OUR neighborhood in the past year and a half and yet I don't worry about my safety, so I clearly see white privilege in my own life.
And yet as I walked up to the park on November 5 I felt more connected to to the black people in our neighborhood because I felt a common excitement over the election. And a guy asked me how I was and then he smiled and showed me the headlines and as he turned away said this was a proud day for him. So, you know, my dss see that and maybe they get some ideas.
I want them to learn from experience in a way and I guess I'm afraid if I adulterate that experience by trying to explain things that are over their head I'll mess it up.
I definitely understand the importance of this issue.