Okay, so as you may or may not know, I am one of the whitest people on earth. The clothes, the music, and of course the skin-tone...I give it all such a glow that if I got any whiter, I'd be minty-green.
That said, I also live in a great diverse neighborhood and want to make sure my kids are a part of it, so they go to a neighborhood Baptist school where, let's just say they're really easy to spot in class pictures. And I've had some interesting race-based experiences lately.
The other day, my daughter was at the dinner table and asked me if her skin would be brown when she grew up. I told her that no, she'd have skin like mine and her fathers. She started to cry and told me that a friend of hers at her school, (we'll call her Sue) had told her that "only brown girls could play." I calmed her down and the next day, asked her teacher to keep an eye out for anything like that. No biggie.
The day after that, I finished dropping my daughter off and Sue's mother was waiting for me by the door. No sooner had the words "Uh oh" zipped through my brain than Sue's mother came up to me and somewhat frantically assured me that "She wasn't raised like that. I swear I don't know where she picked up any idea like that. I wouldn't tolerate that kind of behavior." It makes me smile just thinking about it. You'll be glad to know that my daughter and Sue are still friends, brown or no.
More recently, my children were in line at the airport with me and my daughter pointed at a black couple at the ticket counter and exclaimed, "Look mommy! Barack Obama! Look! Barack Obama!!" I don't know if the "Oh god no" that screamed through my brain made it out of my mouth, but as I frantically tried to A) shut her up and B) get as far away from there as possible, the black woman who'd been at the ticket counter turned around and I almost cheered. There, on the back of her jacket was a HUGE glittery picture of Obama.
I'm not a religious woman, but halleljah!
Thought all three of you who read this might get a kick out of that.
3 weeks ago