Ok, so I am a bit perturbed. Allow me to start off by saying my mom NEVER raised us to be racist. If we made a derogatory remark to anyone regarding their race, we were in huge trouble.
Here’s the story and why I am so not happy.
I am married to a Navajo (Native American Indian) and teach at a school that is about 99% Navajo. My students are great students and I don’t have any problems with them. We were talking today about Monday being Veterans Day and that we need to honor people who served in the military because they chose to do this and were not forced to. Anyway after class was over, one girl comes to me telling me that her uncle was in the military and that he is dead. I asked her if he died while he was in the military. She responded with no and that he died in a plane crash. She proceeded to tell me that in her culture that bad things happen to Navajo’s when they marry a white person.
REALLY!?!? That is NOT ok to tell your children. What if I adopted a child and told them not to marry Native Americans or Hispanics or African Americans or whatever? I would be told, again, that I am a racist. I hear it from my husband that white people in our area are racist, and this probably has been true in the past and still some today. But this has to stop somewhere….that somewhere is in the home.
Another example of racism, non Native American this time, is when my nephew was in elementary school. One of the students who was half African American and half white (if I remember correctly) told my nephew that he should kill him because he was white.
We would love to believe that racism doesn’t exist anymore, that we all get along and everything is all lovey dovey….it isn’t. The ONLY way this changes is to teach our children that just because someone believes a little different doesn’t make them bad. I’m not saying we have to “accept” everyone, because we don’t. We do need to tolerate their beliefs and respect them. We don’t need to teach them to hate people because of the past or because of their beliefs. Be a parent….teach YOUR kids.