Sunday, October 26, 2008

Racism + Politics + Children = Awkward Conversations

Little pitchers still have big ears.

Bed time conversation tonight:

"Daddy can I tell you something?"
"Sure, honey."
"My friend said we should only vote for white people, because if we vote for the black people, they'll get rich and we'll be nothing."

Stunned silence


Well, well, well.

Eric then had a long conversation with Caitlin about how that would be just as stupid as discriminating against blue eyed people, or blondes, or short people. Oh, and he also pointed out the fact that half of my family is black.

Wow. I'm just stunned.

You know, it's the 21st century, folks. The parents of this child aren't those of my parent's or grandparent's generation. Personally, I don't feel there's any excuse for this kind of talk anymore (Especially for theoretically "educated" people such as these are supposed to be.). Is this really what rich people are concerned about during this election? Don't vote for the black guy because we wouldn't want to let those people get rich and ruin being rich for the white people? Is that it? Really?! Wealth, health insurance, love, etc. can't be shared by all or you somehow lessen the value of those things for other people?

I think bloody well NOT.

People! Come ON! Are gay/black/hispanic/female/short people really that threatening to you that this is what you're teaching your children? Because if that's the case, I don't think we can be friends.

And I'm certainly not going to be interested in letting your kid be friends with my kid.

Moral of the story, as usual: don't say anything in front of your kids that you don't want them repeating to their friends. Gaaaaah!


Cindy said...

Wow! Just Wow!
I have no words for this one, just that I'm glad I got to vote!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I think, historically, it's not been the rich whites but the poor ones who have felt threatened economically by black people. They feel they are fighting for the same piece of the economic pie.

I'm not justifying the statement; I just wanted to clarify the point.

Scylla said...


I wish I could say I am stunned, but law school pretty much killed my ability to be amazed at the ignorance and hatred people are capable of.

We voted. We voted Obama.

May there be many, many, many more rich black people as a result. ;)

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Cindy: I'm glad you got to vote, too! High five!

SC: I hear what you're saying, but in this particular case these people are actively RICH. What do they think they have to be afraid of? Even so with the poor white people, there's plenty of pie to go around. Except when They ship more and more jobs over seas, as my ex-company did, then there would be fewer jobs....

Misty: I'm scared by the law school remark. Was that just from the classes or the PEOPLE? And Yay you! I need to fill in my early ballot before it becomes a late ballot!

Red Flashlight said...

Stunned silence.

Scott said...

Ok.. I heard something similar in one of the videos from a republican rally, "If we elect their kind then the blacks will take over!"

Seriously I just want this person to explain to me what they envision as 'the blacks taking over?'

Heather said...

My husband assures me that it won't be blacks or whites that take over the world because the red heads are sneaking in the back door of every family around the world! Seriously, we've held similar conversations with Jessica and Tara. The important part to these discussions is that children don't just receive a counter opinion from us, rather, an opportunity to "think" about the validity of such comments. The spoon-fed populous will unfortunately continue to perpetuate such archaic views, but at least our children will use their noggins see the whole picture!

Missy said...

So sad. But I think the response was just right.

Hobo Mama said...


Since becoming an adult, I've been continually shocked at the racism my parents and in-laws now allow themselves to show openly, which they kept hidden when my husband & I were younger (at least they did keep it hidden then). My only hope is that my generation is less racist, and that my son's will be less still. There is progress, right?

I hope.

I will agree that a lot of the racist comments I've heard, as you noted, stem from fear. It might be an irrational one, but it's there. I think it's mostly fear of losing power. That they'll be worth less if others are worth more, in whatever way. All you/we can do is keep pointing out the sadness of such a scarcity-centered worldview.

Valerie said...

That's crazy. That's just crazy. And sad.

kristi said...

Ignorance is a sad, sad thing.

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