This is definitely not something I normally discuss on my blog, but I felt very strongly that I had to write this story tonight. I’m not breaking any big news stories when I remind you that racism is rampant in this country – we all know it. The level of discrimination and hatred against people of all colors and nationalities is growing by the day. Where does it end? How can we put a stop to it? I’ve been asking myself these questions ever since I learned of a particular incident that happened earlier today. I know I don’t have all of the answers, but I sure know where to begin: stop teaching your children to hate.
Over in Indiana, the weather was gorgeous on Wednesday afternoon. My Community Manager Kat was holed up in her office working while her daughter took her granddaughters to the park to play. The girls are ages two and four, and both love to interact with other kids. What transpired during the outing horrifies me beyond belief. I cannot begin to fathom why or how any parent could do this to their child.
Four-year-old Jenna went up to a little girl around her age and asked her to play. The little girl gave Jenna a dirty look and said “You’re white.” Jenna was confused, and replied “no, I’m skin colored.” The other girl yelled to her mother that she would not play with Jenna because “she is white!” The child’s mother found this to be hysterical and encouraged the behavior. Jenna was crushed and wanted to go home because her new friend didn’t like her. Jenna couldn’t understand why the little girl was so “mean” to her.
That, my friends, is a classic example of why racism has never died out in this country. Hating someone because of the color of their skin is a learned behavior. You aren’t born with the mindset that you should look down upon people who are different from you. You learn by example and by absorbing what others in your family believe. Many people outgrow these types of behaviors as they mature and begin to see the world through their own eyes. The problem is that not everyone does, and the hatred festers, grows and is foisted off on the next generation.
Until we stop teaching our youngsters that they should deride others who don’t look or act a particular way, racism will never end. Violence and anger will continue to cause a rift between those who co-exist in this small world of ours. We are all HUMAN. Why can’t that be enough?