My friend, Issa posted a video on Facebook this summer that showed middle-school-aged children talking about the every day racism they encounter in their lives. I had the boys watch it with me one day and then we talked about it. This is part of our conversation…
Me: What do you think about what those kids were saying?
Nicholas: I don’t get it? Why do the workers in the restaurant think the families are going to steal?
Me: Because they are not White.
N: No, I know that’s what they said, but I don’t get why someone thinks someone else is going to be a thief just because of their skin color.
Me: Well, that’s the thing about racism, there is absolutely no logic to it. It makes zero sense. Even if the person has experience with someone who has stolen from them in the past, and that person happened to be someone who was Brown or Black, that shouldn’t make them believe that all people of color will steal, right?
N: I just don’t get it.
Me: Tobin, if you had a friend who was being told mean stuff by another kid, what would you do?
Tobin: Maybe we should leave?
Me: Leaving is a good choice sometimes, especially if either of you are scared that you’re in danger. But, if you try to be brave, you could tell the other kid that the things he or she is saying are wrong and hurtful and they should stop.
N: Yeah, that would be hard, but it would be the right thing to do.
T: I think, I would tell them to stop and then I would kick them in the face.
Me: Well, you should definitely start with the words first…
Here is the video. I would love to hear what your kids think about it.