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January 17, 2017
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7 Reasons Why Parents Need TUAC on Race and Racism

Race is a very complicated topic to speak to our children about. Why is it so hard to discuss such a touchy topic with our children? Many of us think that we shouldn’t because we don’t want to say the wrong thing or come off as though we are racist. So we avoid it like the plague thinking it will ultimately disappear. Whatever gave us the belief that if we don’t speak to our children about race, racism and bigotry it will fix itself and eventually go away? Don’t expect for it to be fixed if we all keep quiet and never talk to our children about it.

 
 
As a parent you want your children to grow up loving all people no matter their color, shape or size. You do your very best to never show your children any sign of racism or bigotry. As a matter of fact you have friends that are of different race. Your children grew up with other children of a different race; played together, laughed together and probably were invited to eat at each other’s homes. Clearly you taught your children to be “colorblind.”

So how in the world when your child grows up and becomes a tween or a teenager comes home one day from school and outrightly says, “God hates Black People, they are monkeys and they need to get out of this country and go back to where they came from!” or “White People are racist liars, thieves and murderers!” or “All race except us white people are rapist and murderers and they need to go back where they came from!” What would be even worst you hear that your child went into a building and just shot up a bunch of people that are of a different race? You know for a fact that none of those subjects were ever brought up in your home because you taught your children colorblindness. You start to wonder and question yourself and your child: Where is all of this coming from? When did your child ever lose their colorblindness? How could this have happened? It is not too late to figure out how to fix it.

Parents regardless of the color of your skin you need TUAC on race and racism. You are your child’s Personal Trainer. You have to be the one TUAC on this. I would be rich if I got a penny every time I heard and still hearing, “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there! We taught our kids to be colorblind by taking precaution and safety measures to prevent them from developing into racist adults!” How long do you think you can shelter a child from racism and racist people?

Whether your child is still young or a teenager they need to be told. They should be told before they enter preschool or kindergarten and not when they come home disoriented, hurt and angry. I know you may be concerned and worried about what others will say. Not to worry, people will say negative things anyway and haters will hate, and hurting people hurt people. If now is not the right time then when will it be? If you don’t tell them, then who will? Consequently, if you don’t tell them someone else will.

Here are the 7 Reasons Why You Need TUAC on RACE and Racism:

1. Their Friends Will

Our children will never be around us 24 hours 7 days a week. They will eventually hangout with their friends. You may not have the same influence on your child the way his friends do. Not many parents teach their children the same values as you do and no doubt your child’s friends are not hearing the same things around their dinner table or in their home as he is hearing in your home. Children have a way of repeating what their parents say, also what their friends say, and act the way their peers act. Some of these friends can be cruel and they are teaching your children behind your back to be the same way.

2. Their Classmates Will

Here is an experience I had. A friend of mine’s daughter and my eldest daughter were friends from about 14months old. Her son was also friends with my two sons. Our families went to the same church, we did a lot of stuff together and we would always have play dates for the kids. When my eldest daughter was 3 she came home one day crying saying that her friend doesn’t like her anymore, and she won’t play with her anymore. I asked her why; she said, “Because I am too black!” To hear these words come from a 3 year old is hurtful. In my opinion she has the most amazing smooth dark skin, with such a gorgeous smile. (That is another topic for another time).

To think the two girls both grew up together, they are both of the same race and her mother never taught her any such thing. As I said, my daughter is of a very dark skin color, whereas her friend is very light skinned. My friend was quite upset and appalled by this and went on a rampage trying to investigate where this all came from. We both talked it over with each other and then we spoke to both girls together. Over 18 years later they are still friends to this very day.

3. Their Teachers Will

We all had favorite teachers and they are known as some of the most loved people in the world. As much as we would hate to admit it some teachers bring racism into our schools. Believe it or not there are bias teachers and they are not as some would put it “colorblind.” They already go into the school year and enter their classroom with a preconceived notion about their students’ academic achievement and lifestyle before getting to know their students. Whenever a teacher doesn’t know how to sound out a child’s name they either mispronounce it or give them a nickname they can relate to. This causes confusion in the classroom, because it gives leeway to other children teasing them and laughing about their names.

4. Other Family Members Will

Your family will always be your family, there is no disputing that, but just remember that they are friends with someone else who will influence them into doing wrong. If you have a mixed child you need TUAC and prepare him very early in life for some of the hurtful remarks and comments that just might slip from one of those family members when they are older. Regardless of how loving your family maybe towards your child as a baby, they won’t be babies or toddlers for long. There are some family members and their friends who will see your child’s color and remarks will fly throughout the room and to other family members. In due course your child will hear those comments and notice the strange reactions.

5.Strangers Will

There may be an episode when you take your child to the park. He’s playing with other children of other race. But another parent doesn’t want that for their child so they tell their child not to play with your child because their color skin is different. Or your child goes somewhere without you and a stranger shouts out a racist remark. Strangers have a way of saying some real mean and cruel things. They will notice it when they go on an interview, or when it’s time for a promotion or when they looking for a home or an apartment. Children should be prepared for people like this long before adulthood.

6. Television and Radio Will

Unless you don’t have a television or radio in your home or you and your family are away from your home very often, on average children spend approximately 28-32 hours a week watching television. During this time they watch all sorts of different programs which display characters that have demonstrated mean and racist acts, comments and gestures. In our home my husband always used any and every opportunity to be a teaching moment.  If you are watching a television show or movie such as this with your child then it is time TUAC and let him know why you nor anyone else in the family don’t act like that, how wrong it is and it is against you and your family’s belief to do so.

7. Social Media Will

Teenagers spend on average 9 hours a day on social media. They are not necessarily playing games, watching movies or texting; they also spend a lot of time listening to music, reading and searching for help with homework. They are reading about it, watching it and listening to it every day.

Overall race and racism are difficult subjects to discuss, and even harder when you are trying to explain to young children. You just need TUAC on reassuring your child of his uniqueness, how amazing they are and the wonderful things that makes them who they are. Prepare them for what is ahead; there are plenty of people in this world that don’t believe what you believe and not educated to the fact that racism still exist and will continue to exist if we remain silent and try to ignore it.


 
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COMMENT POSTED
JANSON E. said 1/18/2017 4:15:05 AM :
You are right. Racism still exist.

This blog is very informative and educational. I am grateful for this blog. It will guide me to have more in-depth conversations with my children, even the ones who have already passed teenage.

Thank you very much Keva for this Blog and TUAC.

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