It Doesn’t Matter if You’re Black or White

September 13, 2013 at 11:43 am 5 comments

bboy

Let’s take an honest look at an ugly topic – RACE. There I said it! Not just race itself, but what happens when we allow race to permeate our thoughts, feelings and our perceptions. Think about your son or, or if you’re younger and sans kids – your brother. Did it ever occur to you that your child (brother) is held responsible or labeled because of his race? Let me give you an example. When you are walking down the street and you see a black boy walking in your direction, do you a) Cross the street; b) Clutch your purse tightly or c) Continue walking without fear? Or, what would be your first thought if you heard that an altercation occurred between your child and another student? Would you assume it was the other child’s fault? How about if the other child was a black child? What would be your assumptions?

When my son was three years old, his daycare provider (a friendly, white woman) took care of him and several other kids, including her own. We lived in the same neighborhood and our older children attended school together. She was fanatical about cleanliness and that was okay because who wants their child in a pig sty. She loved her family and believed in God. Important points for me! We were off to a great relationship! At least that was what I thought. One day I after work, I picked up my son and she told me that he bit her son. What? Biting was not new to me because my son bit another child at the previous daycare provider. I was very concerned because biting is aggressive act and I needed to know what was going on in my young son’s mind that made him think biting was acceptable. My husband and I would address those concerns with him once we got home. What I wasn’t prepared for were the next words out of my daycare provider’s mouth. She said that he was an aggressive kid and that he would probably grow up and kill someone someday! WHAT?!? At the previous daycare provider, her toddler son (white) started the biting phenomenon and bit our son. I’m not sure if he was punished, but one thing I know, his mother did not decide that he was aggressive and would grow up and one day kill someone. As a matter of fact, she apologized for his behavior, kind of laughed and said “boys will be boys”.  Two different kids, same behavior was judged differently. The only difference is that one kid was black (African American) and one was white. boy-white

More recently I was talking about parenting to a business partner of mine who has three sons. Her sons go to predominantly white schools and the youngest tends to show his feelings (good or bad) though facial expressions. He has not learned the art of masking those feelings yet. In any case, her son’s teacher told him to stop doing something and he continued to do it. She told him a second time and he made a face and said okay. She wrote him up and called his mother. Okay! When my business partner asked her son why he didn’t stop when he was instructed, he told her he wasn’t ready to stop. He also told her that Johnnie (white) did the same thing but he was not told to stop. Now you can spin that anyway you like. Should both sons be admonished equally? Of course, but what is happening in many classrooms is that behavior is viewed differently and punishments, suspensions, and expulsions are more severe for children particularly boys of color. WHY IS THAT? And WHAT can we do about it?

Race may not be an issue in countries where people physically look the same. In those instances you are most likely judged by socio-economic standards like who your parents are and whether you have money or don’t. In this country, the United States, race is an out of control issue that is based in fear and needs to be addressed personally as well as societally.  In Michael Jackson’s song – Black or White, I have to say – it does matter if you’re black or white. You ARE judged by the color of your skin and not necessarily the content of your character. Isn’t that a shame…

C. Lynn Williams
Author & Speaker

http://www.clynnwilliams.com

cgwwbooks@yahoo.com

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Entry filed under: African American, biting, Black boys, childrearing, daycare provider, Dr. Martin Luther King, fear, Parenting, parents, racial differences, societal rules, sons, White boys, young boys. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Surviving Loss Who’s Bag of Chips are Those?

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tru VIsage  |  September 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm

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  • 2. tao of badass  |  September 13, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    tao of badass

    It Doesn’t Matter if You’re Black or White | Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen

    Reply
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  • 4. http://www.youtube.Com/watch?v=klwj_pc_hxu  |  September 4, 2014 at 5:31 pm

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  • 5. tao of badass  |  September 12, 2014 at 1:43 am

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