Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Talking to your kids about racism

Bubby's best friend was busted for writing a list of curse words. His dad called us to make sure we were aware of the incident as Bubby was not one of the boys caught. Turns out that one of the words on the list was the "n" word. We've been known to slip up and let an expletive fly occasionally, but this is a word NEVER used by us and we wanted our son to understand the hate and hurtfulness implied with using it. Discussing racism is probably a talk long overdue as our children see the differences in people, but don't have a concept of words used to describe them. For example, they both call black people 'brown'. Like when we asked Smoochie who she voted for in the mock election at school, she replied the brown guy not the white hair guy.

To start off the conversation, Hubby explained how hurtful it was growing up Jewish and all of the hateful words thrown at him. We also explained how it is wrong to use hurtful words and the he was never, ever to use the "n" word as it was a hateful word against blacks. Apparently it is the word of the month with the 3rd graders. He had told one of his black friends that was saying it that it was a bad word and she had asked her father if it was a bad word and he had told her no. Also, of the four boys that we making the list of curse words, two of them were black. Makes it really hard to drive the point home when he is receiving mixed messages.

I am beginning to understand what people meant when they said child rearing gets more complicated when they get older.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Black America and the N-word:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP2U0jmZjec

Lee said...

Words. They only have the meaning we give them. Here in Australia we have a cheese called COON cheese. Apparently 'created' by a Dr Coon, but it causes some concern among the politically correct wowsers every so often.

Very best wishes for Christmas and the festive season!