July 13, 2016
For white parents - especially Christian white parents - explaining the Black Lives Matter movement should be easy.
I can not look away from the crucifixion because Christ was beaten, spit upon and nailed to the cross because of me. It is a personal event. Slavery were people who owned people that they personally bought. Non of my relatives were any part of the slave trade or ownership of slaves. It was a part of our nations history but we have moved forward from those days and will continue to move forward.
I m Puerto Rican n have 6 grown children n 7 very bright grandchildren whom I have taught from when they were young about the racism n danger that surrounds us daily. I have instilled in them the importance of being careful, especially in white neighborhoods where minirities are not readily welcomed. I have also taught them Faith, honesty, gratitude and to embrace God when unsure about something dealing with humanity issues.
I believe , in light of how our minority youth are being killed that we need to teach our children as early as 5 years old about racial issues, give them historical reference (slavery, racism, etc) so as to open their eyes but at the same time guide our talks with love so that hatred of people is not what they understand our message to be. Also, we need to tell them that this is a cruel world where some people still hold on to hate for Blacks, Hispanics, Mexicans, Gays/homosexuals, etc. I teach my grands who are ages 2, 5,6,7,10,14, 24 to get a feel for those of a different color (whites, Jews , etc) who may shun them because of their dark skin color or features before opening up to them n leaving themselves open for heartache because of their parent's ignorance . I teach by example n try being very fair in my explanations, answering my grands questions very openly n fully while in a manner they can understand.
If we teach our children at a young age about having good hearts n treating people with respect, then they don't see color. If we handle racial confrontations in a civil/ humane manner then we teach them God's ways.
I don't have children, but today I wish I did so I could immediately put the wisdom of this post into practice. Insightfully expressed and couldn't be more on point. As the saying goes, the past is prologue. Thank you Branson!
In Reply to DAVE E. (comment #28598)
For sure we have made tremendous progress, and I thank God for that, but there is still more to be made. Unfortunately, the progress seems to have stalled, if not gone backward, over the last six or seven years. I don't think a child as young as referenced in the article can comprehend the whole history. But if you're going to do that, be sure to be comprehensive. Explain that there is evil in the world, there always has been and always will be, until the day of the Lord. Slavery was not invented in the USA, but it was one of the first countries to outlaw it. There have been several laws and acts passed to improve the plight of the black man. Don't train your child to feel guilty for being part of an evil race. They are part of the race of man. There are people, communities, and regions where equality is understood and practiced.
Places where group interactions take place and afterward the participants can't even tell you how many were white or black. It's not a concern. That's how children should be exposed to others. Don't make it an issue, and maybe their generation will be a more complete melting pot.
I realize every place is not like that yet, but it can be. Try to emulate those people, places, etc.
As a white parent to an adopted black child, we have had various conversations about race. (One cannot even think of avoiding this important issue with a child who is black.)
But kids tend to take seriously the issues...their parents take seriously! So it is good white parents make a point of talking to all their kids...of any color.
In Reply to Larry Davis (comment #28601)
I agree, Larry. Good points.
My children have been raised in one of the most racially diverse cities in the US and I've never had the sort of conversation with them that you suggest, Branson. Whites are in the minority in the public schools here. My children are going through school with students of many racial and national backgrounds. I consider it an invaluable part of their social development and education. They have friends of various ethnicities. They collaborate in classes with students of various races. They are naturally developing non-biased relationships and dating those of different races. I don't want my children to buy into the marxist 'white privilege' and white guilt nonsense that will be fed to them at secular universities. It is wrong to see racism as always having a white face but never black, or asian or hispanic. All races are capable of prejudiced attitudes, and the BLM movement reflects much racial prejudice toward white police officers. It's OK to discuss that with our children too. It seems that many are afraid to discuss that side of the coin.
Furthermore, I hope that you also explained to your children that in the case of Tamire Rice the police were dispatched to a call of someone brandishing a gun. They arrived on the scene and the gun in hand war raised, so they shot, as they are trained to do. They are not trained to allow someone with a gun to shoot first just to make sure it's not a toy gun. Obviously they did not realize it was a toy gun or they wouldn't have shot the 12 year old. Sometimes adolescents have killed others. Officer safety is important. The police were not out of line. It was a sad situation, obviously, but you shouldn't leave your children that the police would just do such a horrible thing as shoot children with toy guns, and "that's not fair". You might also want your children to realize that most incidents where someone is shot by police occurs when the suspect resists arrest and there is a struggle. You might also want to let them know that whites are shot by police approximately double the rate of blacks, but those film loops rarely make the news.
Excellent article. I especially appreciate the reminder that the Lord's Supper calls us to remember, not to look away. When we gather this Sunday to share the Lord’s Supper, we remember the one and only Son who died for all our dead sons. When we take this body broken, we mourn for all the broken bodies, from Brussels to Birmingham to Buchenwald. When we covenant to share in his suffering, we also covenant to share in the suffering of Michael Brown and Tamir Rice and Sandra Bland and Trayvon Martin. We acknowledge the Communion that we share with this victim of violence and, through him, with every victim of violence. We draw close to the One who was nailed to the cross, slowly suffocating, and hear him crying out to all of us, “I can’t breathe…I can’t breathe…I can’t breathe.”
"I teach my grands who are ages 2,5,6,7,10,14,24 to get a feel for those of a different color (whites, Jews, etc.) who may shun them because of their dark skin..."
Wow, way to set kids up for defensiveness and to look for racism where it may not be. Having friends of so many different races, I can easily say there is prejudice amongst ALL of them.I have no problem explaining to my children all of the horrors perpetrated by white people. The things I shield them from are things like being relentlessly bullied by hispanic children all through grade school because I was one of two white children who attended. Or that walking through a neighborhood, in broad daylight, I was threatened by 3 black men...just for walking on their street. I have been carjacked by a black man and yelled at by black men in bars for politely rejecting their drinks or advances.
I do not respond to these incidents by making my girls suspicious of black or hispanic boys/men. I respond by reminding them we are ALL broken and to fight injustice in themselves and whenever they see it around them.
I am saddened by all loss of life. I do not ignore the disproportionate arrest rate and racially charged shootings, but putting everyone on high alert against each other isn't going to help.
Too many parents shun the idea of preparing their children for te reality of the world they live in. My kids have a RIGHT and a need to know what dangers they face because of their race (and gender, in my daughter's case). This "try to understand the other perspective" is a precursor to some the most racist, white supremist, rhetoric I've read from this era...
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