Racism at the Playground

by doodaddy on August 9, 2007

  • Toddlers not sharing? I can deal with that.
  • Big kids who wrestle with my baby? Very manageable.
  • Only two swings and four kids who want to swing? No problem — deflect!

But…

  • “Adults” who talk critically about people of other races, people who speak a different language, or people from different countries? That I have no idea how to handle.

I posted today over at GNM Parents about a couple whose daughter is going to Park Buddy’s school. Which means…

…we’re going to have to see her on a regular basis. While my strategy is just fine for getting racists out of my life, it won’t work if I’m trying to effect change in someone I’m going to have to engage with. Besides, this woman has a lovely three-year old girl, and I just can’t stand by and let her be infused with hate when I have even the slightest opportunity to make a difference.

Park Buddy and I are both feeling hugely challenged by this at the mo’ — read the whole story on the original post.

And please: I could really use some advice.

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tagged as , in Challenges,friends,oddparents,playground ·

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Blog Antagonist August 11, 2007 at 6:45 am

Living in the south, and having in laws that live in the 1950’s…I deal with this a lot. It’s hard to contremand a hateful comment without sounding judgemental or ruffling feathers. BUT…husband and I both feel it’s important, so we usually just make a casual comment like “Gee, the boys have several friends who are Asian, and they’re just the nicest people!”

There have been times, however, when husband has had to take one of his parents aside and explain that we are trying very hard to raise our kids to be accepting people, and ask them to please not make racist comments. For the most part they are receptive to that, but it can be difficult.

I don’t really have any advice for dealing with complete stragners who are racist. I wish I did. It’s rampant here.

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Useless Rambler August 12, 2007 at 8:54 am

The father of my children is, to put it mildly, racist. (silly me, thought I could change him) I got out. I had that choice. My kids don’t, unfortunately. My husband and I know we can’t change him, or his family (kids’ grandparents, aunts, uncles), so we do our best to combat it with the kids by teaching love and modeling in our actions. Fortunately, the kids are still fairly young, however, we did have an incident with my (then) second grader, making a questionable comment at school.

I’m rambling here (get it?? ha 🙂 ) I believe that people will only change if they want to. Growing up in the “South”, it permeated my up-bringing. I try to remember that some people just don’t know better and when I encounter those people, I do what I can to show them that things can be different.

My advice? If she dares to direct it at BooBaby, let ‘er rip. Otherwise, keep doing what you are doing in raising such a beautiful, kind young girl and as you encounter this woman, perhaps some ‘modeling’ might be helpful to her? I’m horrible at giving advice, so ya might just wanna pass this one by 😉

btw, I blogged about a party we went to, thrown by some friends originally from India. The ‘reality’ of racism crushed me on the drive home. Feel free to check it out… it’s called “I went to a party last Saturday night…”

(A lurker who is loving reading!!! I also commented on WorkingMom’s blog)



Sorry to hear that — I do believe that people can change (I try to change at least once a day!) — but you’re right, they have to want to.

Does your baby daddy have a lot of contact with the kids?

Thanks for hangin’ out — and for commenting on deanmama. She was soooo excited to get a comment from someone who hadn’t commented for me!

Dd.

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