Monday, October 15, 2007

The wisdom of children

I was talking to one of the children in my class today and another teacher called out "Jackson..." My student said hey that is like Jack in our class, but they look different. I said how do they look different. He mumbled at first and I thought he said their hair, since one has red hair and the other has brown hair. But when he repeated it he said, "That Jackson has dark light skin and our Jack has light light skin." Now both children are Caucasian and the child talking is Indian, so his skin is darker than both of the other children. Again, I realized how perceptive and smart many kids are, and how they state the truth in unusual, but often honest ways. This child was stating a fact. He was not making a value judgment on what color skin is better and he saw a difference in skin color between two children that would ordinarily probably be considered white with no distinction toward skin color other than that. Which reminds me that when we say we are teaching our children to be color blind, we are only hurting them. We need to teach children that all people should be treated fairly, but that we are all different and unique. Some of us have red hair, and some have black hair, some of us are light light skin and some of us are dark dark skin, but we are all people and we need to be viewed thusly. And finally, Everyone's a little bit racist.

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