Tuesday, May 4, 2010

oh emma.

my precious little girl.

my heart broke for you today.

you are brown, beautiful, and so sweet...and you ran into your classroom shouting gleefully to your classmates, "can i play? can i play?"

and a harsh little voice snapped, "no. we don't want brown kids. only white girls can play with us."

and your little feet slowed, your head hung down, and you quietly went to the corner and played alone in the kitchen center.

my heart cracked.

the child who spoke this racist statement is the teacher's little girl. the teacher is a lovely woman, a good teacher and a wonderful missionary. i'm sure she never, ever told her child to say this.

i spend a few minutes explaining to the child, as she sat on her mom's lap being chastened quietly, that she had hurt emma's feelings, and that we are all the same even if our skin is different. i asked her, "how would you feel if a group of brown kids said you couldn't play with them because you're white?"

here's what my husband thinks happened:

he thinks, probably correctly, that this family, and for sure this little girl, HAS NO BROWN FRIENDS.

the world is a harsh place for minorities...and my sweet emma is already learning that in certain settings she is different, she is a minority.

when my older kids were small, they were a minority- white faces and blond hair in a sea of brown and black.

they learned.

but oh, that first wounding. the first time to realize you are not wanted because of what you look like.

people, we need to be-friend each other. we need to move past acquaintance and into love.

we need to fall in love with the human race in all it's glorious differences. i do not see my child as brown- i forget it sometimes.

would that we all could do that. not color blind, but color aware, and in love with each other.


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