Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Taste of Racism

We talk pretty openly about anything and everything in our family. That includes skin color. But we've never made a big deal about it. We kid each other about who's going to burn worse at the beach. Laugh together when people ask me why I sunblock my dark kids since they don't burn--um, yeah they do! Just not as easily. We kid about being white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. 

My kids know what racism is, and like me, they get tired of all these cases in the news where a shooting is blamed on racism. Who's to say it wouldn't still have happened if both people were the same color? White people shoot white people all the time. And black people shoot black people all the time. It just doesn't make national news.

Unfortunately Jasmine got her first taste of racism directed at her at the Frozen sing a long at Disney. The twins too, but they didn't notice. It was one of those occasions where they are trying to get everyone to scoot in to make more room at a show. I don't scoot. But we had a lot of room in the middle of our bench, and I saw a white mom with two white girls about 4 & 7 or 8 looking for a seat. I said, "We have room for all three of you by us." I was on the end, Jasmine was next and then the twins. The mom took a look at my kids and turned her back without saying a word. She had the two girls squish together on the bench right in front of me, and she sat on a tiny bit of bench right in front of them. 

The sing a long hadn't started yet, so Jasmine started singing one of the Frozen songs, and the older girl turned around and joined in. When it was done, the girl looked at me and said, "Do you think anyone heard us?" I said, "I'm sure they did, and they were amazed at how beautiful it was." She had this big smile. 

She and Jasmine started to sing another song, and the mom looked back and saw. She told the girl to stop singing and face forward. She was pretty harsh, and it seemed way out of place for a Disney sing a long! The girl half turned around but kept singing. 

The mom pulled her up off the bench and sent her to sit somewhere toward the front. I'm assuming there was a friend or family member there. Then the little girl started singing, and the mom grabbed her and sat her on her lap.

Jasmine looked at me and said, "What's going on? We're not going to get into trouble for singing at a sing a long even if it hasn't started."

And I told her the truth. It was obvious by the looks the lady had given the twins and was still giving Jasmine. Jasmine was speechless for a couple of second. Finally she said, "Their mom doesn't want them to sing with me because of my color?"

She was a bit shocked but okay, and the show was ready to start, so I just kidded with her. "She must think it's contagious." I rubbed my arm against hers. She hugged up against me and enjoyed the show. In fact, we went a second time despite an extremely long waiting line since it was Christmas week.

We talked about it later, and she'll bring it up once in a while. But it doesn't get her down. She just thinks that mom is "crazy" to think like that. Yeah, me too, Jasmine, me too.


11 comments:

One Crowded House said...

mean people are.... mean...
It's just a shame they try to rub the mean in to their kids too. :(

Kathy C. said...

I know! Those girls were just having fun and never gave a thought to skin color.

Deb said...

Our family is blended with all colors and races. I think some people are just shallow minded. I am sorry that Jasmine had her feelings hurt by this thoughtless lady. You are an awesome mom raising an awesome family.

Katie Tripp said...

That's terrible. If I had girls that would sing, I'm sure they'd love to sing with her. My younger son and I had a discussion of race the other day. He's in kindergarten, and has friends of all colors. He didn't quite understand why he had the day off of school, so I tried to explain it to him. He was really baffled that some people wouldn't have let his friends go to the same school.

Emily said...

Oh, that cooks my goose!!! We've had to work very hard with my three girls to reverse some racist garbage that their bios poisoned them with. I hate, hate, hate it. I'm sorry you and Jasmine had to go through that. At Disney, of all places!
I wonder if that woman takes her girls on Small World...She could use a lesson.

schnitzelbank said...

Are you certain she wasn't just annoyed that you wouldn't skootch over and make some room? Because that would've annoyed me- to have to step over and around you, because you didn't want to scoot. I wouldn't have taken it out on the children, but I would have thought you were not being a good community member.

Kathy C. said...

Two reasons I wouldn't move in. One is a health reason and I need an end. The second is that I waited in line for a long time in order to get a better seat so I was not going to cram in just because some people came in late.

Kathy C. said...

Thank you all for your support.

Anonymous said...

color never bothered me anyway
Jasmine should have seen that and the look on the mothers face would be pricless

Kathy C. said...

LOL. That would have been great. Color never bothered me anyway. What good lyrics!

Dawn Wright said...

OYE!!!! That is awful!!!! :(
Your children are beautiful as are mine. Why don't people just get over epidermis already!!!