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 "people 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.