When my little brother was a few years younger than he is now, he and I went to a Chinese Restaurant. When we went inside he wanted to know “If Chinese people are white, why don’t we just call them White people, like they call Guyanese people Black people”. To me, a high school student at the time, that was rather profound for a 4 year old.
While in college I chose to minor in African American studies. I am not sure which of the courses it was, but in one of them I read a piece by Henry Louis Gates entitled “Race as the Troupe of the World”. I will not delve deep into Plessy v. Ferguson, the true origin of man, and all that other stuff; don’t worry this is not a history lesson.
I will mention that from reading the piece, gathering my own opinions and educating myself, now that I am a mom I WILL NOT BE TEACHING MY CHILD RACE!
I will teach my son CULTURE, I will teach him history, geography, and DIVERSITY; the acceptance of difference. But when it comes to teaching him socially constructed groups based on pure prejudice and stereotype ILL PASS! I am not naive so I know the day will come when he is faced with a little questionnaire, census, or application asking him “which of these boxes do you fit in”, and will hope that I have educated him as thoroughly as I am able on his history that he will make his own informed decision NOT LETTING SOCIETY DECIDE FOR HIM.
My help in this fight for racial equality will be raising my child (and future children) to know too much about history to be limited by race.