I want to preface this conversation by saying that I despise President Trump, and I’m not a Republican. My opinions may be different than yours, but I hope you appreciate the opinion of whoever you are deciding to follow right now.
During this time, and this #BlackOutTuesday, I want to encourage you to continue the conversation about racism with your friends and children.
My friend from Boston Kate posted this video I really enjoyed watching.
During every talk I have with parents, even if it’s on social media and mental health, I always preach the importance of starting the conversation about sensitive topics from a young age. I have encouraged my sister (who is black) to begin the conversation with both of my nephews (who are under 3) NOW, not later.
Though her son is a baby, the conversation should begin then. If you enable your child to get to high school without discussing race, sex, and body image with them, they may become the bully.
If your children are young, you don’t have to show them the most severe forms of racism injustice. Watching the video of George Floyd brought me to tears, and I don’t think very young kids need to see the pain in his eyes and the utter evil in the cops. That being said, there are podcasts, movies, and books that you can read with your children. Even one podcast or mini discussion per week (or day!) can enable your children to start to ask questions and become well-versed on the topic.
If you’re at a park or a grocery story, ask your child (whatever race they may be) how it feels to be around people who are of different colors. Encourage them to say hi, become friends, and wave to everyone. The discussion of racism begins with you, mom and dad. You have the power to completely change the way your children think from a young age. Keep a circle of people of ALL COLORS around you.
If you’re a parent in a PTA meeting surrounded by only white people, raise your hand and ASK why there is no one of color in the room.
“Are you scared”
“Would it offend you if someone of color is here”
“What does it show our kids if no one of color is in this room
Take your stand. If no one else is willing to stand up, then I pray you will.
I am obviously not a fan of Trump or a Republican, but I believe that regardless of what party you choose to follow, there are people who are colored and are in power we should be inspiring our kids to follow. One person who comes to mind is Michelle Obama, who is seriously my inspiration.
That could be Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, or Martin Luther King for you. Compile clips of people in power who are right in their approach (like Barack and Michelle Obama) and have also done things poorly like Trump or Amy cooper,
Ask your children to determine which statement is right and which is wrong. Let them ask questions.
Be the voice for the next generation before they can stand up on their own, please.