Friday, March 7, 2008

Color Blind

Seven is color blind. Not in the sense that he can't identify colors, just that he can't differentiate skin color. And I LOVE that about him.

Last month at school his class studied heroes in Black History. Seven did a report about Thurgood Marshall. He learned a lot about Martin Luther King, Jr. and has been talking about him constantly. He told me, "I'm glad Dr. King fought for civil rights because if he didn't do that I probably wouldn't be able to go to school with some of my friends who are black, like..." and he named five kids in his class. Two are African-American, one is white, one is from India, and one is from Laos.

I looked at him and said, "Honey, not all of the kids you listed are black." I talked about each child and what their ethnicity is. He looked at me, very confused, and said, "Well then how can you tell whether someone is black or not?" He'd never heard the term "black" used before in reference to people. He'd describe his friend as, "You know, the boy with the brown skin and
black hair."

Seven informed me, "They used to call them 'colored people' and have separate bathrooms and water fountains and everything. I think that's dumb because we're all 'colored people.' See, (pulling his sleeve up and showing me his arm) I'm peach-colored."

Today I ate lunch with him at school and he told me all about Ruby Bridges and how "the judge said there shouldn't be a black school and a white school, but they should all go to the same school so she became the first one to go to an all-white school." He said "peopl
e threatened her just because her skin was darker than her classmates and that marshals had to go to school with her to keep her safe." He said, "Mommy, did you know parents were so dumb that they wouldn't let their kids be in her class because she was black, so she had to be in a class all by herself?"

He told me, "One time her lips were moving and someone asked why she was talking to those mean people. And she said, 'I wasn't talking to them--I was praying for them.' She said that she prayed for them because Jesus prayed for the people who were mean to him so she did too. Mommy, she was a real hero."

I think Seven is a hero too.


Shelly Conn said...

He's one of the sweetest little boys I know. He has always been like that (even @ 2 years old I knew he was special). He has a heart of gold and I think this post is precious! I was watching that Presidents DVD and he just looked so big and animated!!! What a sweet pea! I hope SO bad that J.C. and Aaron land in the same room again next year.

Pat said...

He is such a sweet kid

Leslie said...

Can you imagine being Ruby Bridges's mother? Those parents had real courage. Making a statement yourself is one thing but offering your children up as hostages to faith really took courage.

I love that our children have trouble understanding what those days were like.


april said...

That is so cute! You should be very proud. I have to say that I grew up in a very WASP-y town in New England. I like to joke that you could count on one hand how many non-white families there were. We had one black family and 3 families who adopted. You could use the other hand to count the families who were not Protestant, too. There was one Jewish family (who only lived there a year), one Mormon, and one Jehovah's Witness. So, when I moved to Connecticut and the schools were a whole 3% minority, it was almost scandalous. :) Still, I can't say we encountered any stupid people, not until we were grown up and it's amazing how people think the color of one's skin makes a difference at all. Stupid people are stupid people regardless of color.

Side story, one day I came home from school and cried that I was the "onliest Korean kid in class". We were also special because my parents aren't Asian so a lot of people were puzzled back then why we didn't look alike. It's a little more common now at least.

MisbehavinAngel said...