Thursday, July 21, 2016

I dug out my kindergarten picture

close your eyes and imagine 15 years from now, my son (white, blonde, blue eyed) and his second cousin (bi-racial, brown hair, brown eyes)

they both are independently driving somewhere in the US late at night with a broken tail light.

Even with identical responses to an officer are you confident they will be treated the same?

Sadly, I am not confident in equal treatment. And until that day comes, I will not sit by silently.

Are you confident that you would respond the same to them on a dark street if their immediate identity was not apparent to you?

Sadly, I am not confident I would respond the same. And until that day comes, I will continue to try and educate myself on how to understand my own biases and prejudices.

All my love to all of you. These are hard things. But we all must think about them. We all must try and place ourselves into different and unique circumstances and think through the ramifications.

Everyone's circumstances place everyone along different points. I don't pretend to understand a lot, but my experiences are different from yours.

I will leave you with one of mine. I was the only white girl in my kindergarten class. I remember this picture day very well. There were 10 more students in the class who could not afford pictures and they were not even allowed to be in the class photo. The photographer was unkind to them and I could not believe that they couldn't be in MY class photo. I don't know if that was policy or if that was a prejudiced individual who chose to erase from my class photo 10 kids due to their poverty and/or their skin color.

I have seen them erased my whole life. I have seen myself receive better treatment because of my skin and because of my eyes and I can still see those classmates excluded.

We have a problem.

I wrote this in response to so many of the hateful things people are saying about race in the United States.  I am grateful to have gone to school with such diversity.

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