Sunday, January 15, 2012

That Awkward Moment When You Realize Your 6-Year Old is Racist: A Martin Luther King Day Post

The other night, and I don’t even remember how we stumbled upon this topic, Ben said something... a bit racist.  I can't even repeat it, I have so much shame.

To say that I freaked out would be an understatement.

“What? WHAT? What did you say? Why do you think that? Who told you that? Was it that god-forsaken public school system?” (Further freaking out commenced, and I turned to John and may have said things like the following):

“Why don’t we just call up the KKK and send him on over to Arkansas or wherever it is the KKK hangs these days.”

“I knew we should’ve sent him to the city schools for the first few years of his life. Then he’d know what it’s like to be the minority.”

I became irrational, which is what happens when freaking out goes unmitigated. Sometimes John just lets me go on:

"Why would you say that?  I need to understand the root of his statement right now or I'm going to totally freak out!!!

“This is what happens when you let kids watch too much television.”

“I failed! Somewhere along the way I failed.”


Ben: “Waaaaaaahhhhhhh! I don't want to go to a different school!"

And then, the voice of reason interceded. Caleb, who just turned nine on Friday, said the following:

“Ben, you’d better not say things like that or Martin Luther King will come out of his grave and get you.”

Stunned, both Ben and his guilt-ridden mother dropped the subject. I decided a lecture on pacifism would come later, after I could be sure Ben was no longer a racist.

I think Martin Luther King Jr. would want it that way.

MLK Jr.:  Racists, he's coming for you...

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Jessica said...

Oh my LOL what Caleb said made me laugh SO hard ;)

Joyce said...

What did he say?? You KNOW I'm going to find out.

Holly said...

I will never divulge.

Jenna said...

This reminds me of a conversation I had with my 5-year old twins a couple of weeks ago.

Noah: (very seriously): Mama, did you know that when Martin Luther King was around, the white people got to drink out of the new fountains, and the colorful people had to drink out of the old and broken fountains?

I nearly choked on my Fruit Loops.

Jenna said...

And full disclosure--my kids go to city schools and have many "colorful" friends.

Holly said...

Colorful. Hee hee.