Dear Parents of White Children,
I vote that we strike the following from our parental lexicon:
1. “Everybody is equal.”
2. “We’re all the same underneath our skin.”
I realize this is counterintuitive. But I’m completely serious.
These statements are so abstract they’re mostly meaningless when handed to a 7- (or even 17) year-old. That’s at best. At worst, they’re empty filler — stand-ins for the actual conversations about race, racial difference and racism we need to be having with our kids.
Sugar when our kids need protein.
Yet, if white college students are to be believed, these statements are standard in many white households.
My students write racial autobiography papers. It’s a pretty straightforward assignment: describe the impact of racial identity in your life — not race generally, but your race and any significant experiences, teachings and thoughts pertaining to that identity at various life stages.