Now, as some of you may have noticed, I’ve been on a blog break. Not by choice, really, but by the force of a mighty invader. My computer was infected you see, and terribly so. Not from the flu, but from something far worse. A corrosive virus. Not bacterial, not viral, just corrosive. I shall not rant and rave about it here, but get to the matter at hand as I finally have my computer at home. And he is clearly happy at being back. Yes, it is a he, and his name is Charles. Right, yes, moving on.
In case you were wondering, this post is not about ‘ He who must not be named,’ or J.K. Rowling or Harry Potter. It is however, about he whose name shall not be mentioned.
When she got in the car, my daughter mentioned that something upset her at school today. She is rarely upset by much, a. because so far, she stays out of mischief and b. she is friends with everyone. A class mate has said to her, when she went to get a piece of tape, something to the effect of “hold on, whites go first.” Later he said to her, that wasn’t what he meant. Well, what did he mean? I don’t quite know. Ordinarily, we would discuss this at the dinner table, but she prefers to think about it quietly. This was the first time the color of her skin was brought to her attention. She is quite philosophical and knows I was involved with Race 2012, bringing attention to a topic, many don’t want to talk about. She then asked me if he knew he was being racist? That was a shock to my system because It was the first time I have ever heard her use the term. However, it allowed me to model tolerance by having a lovely conversation about things children may say, based on what they hear, and why that would be a great opening for a discussion with the entire class. She was too upset to talk to her teacher today, but will do so tomorrow as she can relay the whole incident, she hopes, without feeling sad. I have decided I will only get involved if she can’t handle it herself. This sort of thing is extremely unusual at the school and they have absolutely no tolerance for these types of incidents. It involves quite a few consequences. Here’s the thing, my daughter does not want her class mate to get into any trouble, because the child is a friend. She would like her class mate to be aware that a comment about the color of one’s skin, should not be thrown out flippantly, because it is derogatory. I have allowed her to express her feelings of tolerance, by also allowing her to express her hurt. It is reassuring to her that I trust her judgement, for now. I can’t go all Race 2012 on her as much as I would like to, she won’t understand any of it. So what would you do my dear readers, would you get involved? or would you allow your child the freedom of expression and decision-making?