a chat with Grey and Gem

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I had a chat with Grey and Gem this weekend and started with 'remember a long time ago when white people thought black people should be slaves' and followed with a chat about the civil war and Martin Luther King Jr, and how that was all so crazy and such a long time ago and Grey said, "Mum! We know about this already, why are we talking about it, it makes me feel mad?!" and I said, we're talking about it because something bad happened in Virginia and it's about people who think that having white skin is the best skin.

They asked questions, like "you mean this wasn't a long time ago, but now?" and I told them about the statue being removed and the Confederate flags and how the marchers were upset that they were being removed even though what they stood for was a disgraceful and hurtful part of our history.  They asked lots of "but why?" to which I offered that maybe they didn't read enough, or travel enough, or have enough friends that help them see that the world is big and beautiful and different and has room enough for all of us.

And then because they asked about the other flag, we got into a discussion about WWII and Nazis and how lots of people during that time didn't say 'this is wrong' because they weren't the ones being hurt. And we talked about the brave people that did find ways to help and assist those being persecuted even though it meant putting themselves in danger because it was the right and decent and human thing to do. And I told them about Heather Heyer and how she was there to say 'this is wrong' even though she had white skin and wasn't the one they were marching about.

Gemma cried because she got worried about her godfather Uncle Juice and sobbed 'he has brown skin, do they not like him too?' And Grey tried to rationalize that it wasn't happening in our town, so all the people we love that are brown and black are fine and that we don't really have to talk about it.

And I told him, "honey, we do have to talk about it because not talking about it is like pretending it's not happening or pretending its okay because it's not happening to us or to the people we love. What's wrong is wrong regardless if it's happening to us or not."

and I showed them the pictures of the group of people with the torches and said, "it's especially important that we talk about this because these people who stand for something so terrible look just like us."

Resources for opening up a discussion with your kids:

Team Studer: How we talk to our kids about privilege

Cup of Jo: Raising race conscious children

Washington Post: How silence can breed prejudice

All Parenting: How to talk to your kids about white privilege 

Medium: It's time for white parents of white kids to bring the resistance home. 

Raising race conscious kids  

HuffPost: Preserving my children's innocence is an act of preserving white supremacy 


  1. SO much love! <3 people like you are why I can never give up hope for a positive future for my children