Monday, May 29, 2006

My Son Thinks He's Black Part 2

In our continued saga of race at our house I feel inclined to give account of the birthday presents. A few weeks ago I found a garage sale that was so full of GI Joes (after my lament that you can't find them in stores around here) that I bought a bunch of stuff. Two Joes and enough gear for many more. One Joe is red-headed with a goatee, the other is very brown. Not that I bought one for one boy and the other for the other, but I had a hunch that they'd split them that way.

So, my little guy opens his gift (the box contained both Joes and their gear), pulls out the red-head and tells his brother, "This one for you!" He pulls out the brown one and says, "And this one for me!"

And while we are on the subject of color, my daughter was trying to describe one of our friends, but she couldn't remember his name. "The one who tries to eat my thumb." She is trying to overcome that nasty thumb-sucking habit. "You know Mom, the one that we see at church." I guessed, wrong. "The one that has curly hair." Wrong guess again. "He comes over because he needs his hair cut sometimes."


What an adult would have said: That African-American fellow. You know, that gives announcements at church every Sunday and eats dinner with you?

At which point did we start shortcutting our way to discriptions by using color? I mean it seems logical. The Black-White ratio at our church is balanced heavily towards white. We'd skip to the obvious differences first. Kids? They don't even see it. Or they see it, but it doesn't occur to them to place any emphasis on it.

Unless, say, they are requesting a brown baby to come live with them. Then, don't try any sneaky "brown hair and eyes, but pink skin" on them. They aren't stupid, ya know.

Just finished and it was incredible (but definately secular so be prepared for that):

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