Event: end of kindergarten school year picnic in the park.
One little kindergarten boy asks a little kindergarten girl to please be his partner for a water balloon fight. Little kindergarten girl folds her hands and tells little kindergarten boy she does not want to be his partner. Little innocent kindergarten boy skips off happily to look for some one else who wants to play. When all are paired up, little kindergarten girl does not have a partner. Little kindergarten girl with quivering lips comes to a mommy who was observing the interaction to ask for her assistance in getting a partner. The observing mommy reminds little kindergarten girl that little kindergarten boy had asked to be her partner and she declined. Little kindergarten girl without missing a beat says she did not want to play with him because she hates black people. Observing mommy almost has a heart attack - a full fledged racist kindergartener? Unfortunately (or fortunately because this mommy is not sure of the outcome of the "little talk" she would have had) little kindergarten girl’s mommy is not at the picnic.
So many things that are tragic with this picture – little kindergarten boy who has a really tender heart who through out the school year would finish his work really fast to help little kindergarten girl with her work - some of the other little girls would make fun of little kindergarten girl since she was struggling with kindergarten schoolwork and little kindergarten boy did not want anyone making fun of her. Little kindergarten boy who really wanted to learn how to tie his shoes and though shy, would ask any adult in the class to teach him how. All so that he could teach little kindergarten girl how to tie hers so that same said girls Would stop laughing at her since she did not know how to tie hers. Tragic that little kindergarten girl’s heart has already been corrupted with such hate at such a young age. Even more tragic that little girl peddling racism is Vietnamese and will have to deal with prejudice and racism directed at her. Tragic for innocent little kindergarten boy who will have to overcome enormous challenges to be the boy who God intended him to be – brilliant scientist, kind-hearted, caring and all around one totally decent kid. Oh how my heart breaks for him - it is one thing to deal with prejudice and racism from adults, but having to deal with it from your peers as early as kindergarten? Tragic for the mommy observing this interaction who was too flabbergasted to figure out how to handle the issue – I mean a chat with the parents is probably meaningless – racism is not genetic but taught. And this mommy has to quickly get her act together to get a game plan because her black children are counting on her to protect them against racism, both veiled and not so veiled. And all this happening in an elementary school in a state that calls itself the trail blazer in progressive issues and where diversity is supposedly the fad de jour. Oh what hope is there for our children if fifty years after dogs and fire hoses were unleashed on school children fighting against racism, racism is still so much alive and well?