Have you recently been wondering how did we get here? How did we get to the point where we have to wear masks, have to distance ourselves from each other, and take extra precautions when visiting with family and friends? How did we come so far to have barely made any improvements in the areas of race and wages?
Personally those things cross my mind daily. My mind tries to fill in voids or make excuses like no one realizes how much of an impact their global footprint leaves. I often try to place blame on education but that is available to everyone. It leaves me to believe that we have become mutations of our own genetics; breeding racism, violence, and hatred.
Over the past month I have seen so many needless reports of racism in the public education system that my heart has broken into a thousand pieces. Children making a website to “sell” their class mates as “slaves” is just the tip of the iceberg. I seen articles where teacher’s have suspended elementary school kids for wearing Black Lives Matter tee shirts and for having dreadlocks, braids, or afros! College students are recording themselves using racial slurs and bragging about not liking people of color. The thing is, when these stories hit the news media outlets the parents of these children try to explain that they didn’t raise their children to be racist or that they don’t know where that behavior came from but they do! Behaviors are learned. If your child is racist then more than likely that ideology came from you, the parent. We all like to believe that we have done our best to raise well rounded kids but often the apple does not fall far from the tree. We often forget about the moments when we don’t know our children are listening. For instance, you come home from work disgruntled about an incident with a co-worker of a different race. You may be venting to your husband but your kid is just around the corner and hears you call that person the “N” word. That child now has to internalize that situation… He knows the Mom is upset, he knows that it was a Black person that caused her to be upset, and so now he has developed a dislike for Black people because of the pain or frustration that his Mom felt. Yes, it is that easy! Not only does this happen in white families but all families. We could easily make the characters of that story any race and it would still get the point across.
We have to be more conscious of our actions and we must pay attention to how our actions are shaping the minds of our kids. I will say that I was super proud to see children turning in their own parents after the attack on the Capitol Building. That gives me hope that one day all this racism and division will end, that our children will be okay. It takes a community to raise a child and we have to get back to where we are protecting and teaching our children the right way to live.