I really hope this post does not stir up an unintentional can of worms.... If you choose to comment, which I will enjoy, please do so with thought.
So I have this post I want to write. I was going to include a picture, but in my infinite organizational skills, I have since lost the black egg. So imagine if you will.....
A wooden flat egg shape on the end of a wooden stick so it becomes a "puppet". The wood is blank and meant to be colored and designed upon. My three year old colored it yellow and pink and then recolored it black, his favorite color.
My five year old and three year old built a "theatre" out of Duplo blocks and began an egg and bunny puppet show. It was cute. They were making up voices for the puppets. And I was doing the dishes. Everyone was occupied. Until I almost dropped a dish.
My five year old daughter with her pink and purple colored egg said the words: "Your BLACK egg can't be in the puppet show, it is UGLY!" I was raw with emotion.
How did my five year old say such an ignorant and yes, stupid, remark? HOW? She has grown up in a diverse area. She knows all races, all religions, all differences. She says often that she wishes she had brown skin because "it's so pretty".
I grew up in Prince George's County and then outside of Columbia, MD. I understand and have lived in relevant harmony of all races, religions and genders. I have been told that I am ignorant because I grew up in a utopia society. That I didn't know how the real world worked with race. But the thing is, I did understand. I just chose to rise above it. I chose to not care about the color of someone's skin or what holidays they observe. I chose not to make stereotypes.
When I became an educator, I was made aware of discrimination and racial bias, and how prevalent it still is in many ways. But it all doesn't make sense to me. Why and how can a teacher or a person see another person or kid and say "that person is lower in education or status because of their skin color". It doesn't make sense.
Circumstances help to create a person or student, but they are not the only thing that helps create the person. Circumstances change. People change. While it was educational for me as an teacher to become aware of the struggles in the past and the racial bias in the present, I often wonder when, as a nation, are we going to move forward? When will will it make sense to everyone that judging someone by their skin color does not make any sense at all?
Back to the puppet show.... It turned out that when I confronted my daughter about her exclusionary statement, and began the lecture on how the color doesn't matter, it turns out she just thought the egg should have been colored pink or yellow, you know for Easter and spring. The black color was grim and ugly for an egg. And hence why she looked at me like a crazy person when I put it in context of racial issues. Nevertheless, it got me thinking. And she now tolerates that her brother's favorite color is black..... And it's ok because it's a boy color.
And here goes the gender stereotype conversation......