Wednesday, February 6, 2008

OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES


Volunteering in my son's 2nd grade classroom today, I was helping a small group with an art project when the conversation turned to politics.

Boy1: "Clinton is ahead but I like Obama."
Girl 1: "Yeah, I really like Obama. But my mom likes Clinton cause she's a woman."
Boy 2: "Me, too. I like Obama. He likes change and we need a change."

Granted it was 8:30am and I hadn't had my tea but I had to shake myself awake to confirm that I was sitting with a bunch of 7 and 8 year olds. I was so pleased that these kids were aware and interested enough to have political opinions. I knew they were likely repeating what they'd heard at their dinner tables and that made the following statements that much more disturbing.

Girl 2: "Obama could never be the President."
Boy 1: "Why not?"
Girl 2: "Because if he was President, he would live in the White House and black people can't live in the White House."
Boy 1: "Why not?"
Girl 2: "Because then they would invite black people over for dinner and that's not allowed."

I told the girl and the group that that simply wasn't true. I further explained that anyone, no matter what color, who was worthy of being elected our President, could live in the White House and invite to dinner anyone they pleased. Anyone.

Change, you can't come fast enough...

6 Comments:

tsmokeduck said...

it really just points to how we as adults have such influence over our children, and how we all start off on a level playing field void of bigotry, hate etc. Then all it takes is ignorance, fear, racism and the patterns that have been clearly established from prior generations to continue to misguide our children. Thank goodness you were there in that class to hopefully help change a disgusting pattern.

InTheFastLane said...

And that is why change takes so long. What a sad comment on that child's parents.

Manic Mommy said...

So sad. To have those opinions is bad enough. To not have the brains to save your children from them is criminal.

Dawn said...

I wouldn't judge her parents that quickly. These are terribly young kids still and she may just not have gotten some piece of a lesson her parents were attempting to impart. For example, they may have been trying to explain the sad history of our nation to her that allowed it to be an accepted idea that a black person could never live in the White House or hold the office of POTUS. It wasn't that long ago, maybe just 30 or 40 years ago, when a majority of Americans would have agreed with that statement.

Thankfully, things have changed. And I would not rush to judge the parents of a 7-year old who very easily could have taken something said out of context.

It's not that different than when my 4-year old came home last month and told me that it was "King Martin's" birthday.

Dawn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
merlotmom said...

Dawn,
good point. could be true. let's hope.

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