Even though most of us don’t love discussing the uncomfortable aspects of life, like race, for example, it’s our responsibility to educate our children on these matters when we become parents. It’s also crucial to do it on time, because otherwise the world might do it for you, and you might not like it.
Dr. Mathangi Subramanian is a writer that recently had an encounter with this topic in a very unlikely place – a playground for children.
As it turns out, two blonde girls at the playground didn’t let her daughter play with them because she didn’t have blonde hair. The bigger problem is that the parents of the two girls, and heard this, did nothing to intervene. It was then when Subramanian stepped up and told the girls that the playground is for everyone is they have to share it.
Even though most white people in the U.S. have the luxury of thinking voluntarily when it comes to race, because it’s considered the “default”, the topic is very important for parents of color.
Addressing race is pretty hard, especially with young children, but white people often make it even harder without realizing it. Many white people take it as a personal insult, and the defensiveness ends up overshadowing the original concern.
No matter how uncomfortable it is, it’s our responsibility to speak to our children about race, if we want the best for them.
Subramanian’s story has a relatively happy ending because thousands of strangers from all over the world sent her messages of love and support since she shared it.