Today, I saw a Facebook conversation happening between some other white folks. It went like this:
Status Updater: I want to talk with my 10 year old about the complex ideas of racism, the U.S. during the Jim Crow Era and the Civil Rights Movement. What films/documentaries/etc. can you recommend?
Commenters: Give a few helpful suggestions.
Commenters: Let him be 10. Why force this on him so early? Why can’t we just let kids be kids?
Commenters: But racism isn’t just about black and white.
Y’all, I almost blew up. I’m not even sure that now, several hours later, I have the vocabulary for what I want to say about this.
1) Making statements like “let kids be kids” in reference to not teaching them about complex things misses the complexity inherent in childhood. Children aren’t simple, and they’re not non-discriminatory. They can be ruthless and often are.
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