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Something occurred to me tonight

When is the right age to try to help my son learn about things like the klan and other hate groups?

When that comes, how is the best way to teach him?

Why, in 20fucking10, is this even an issue still?



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 18th, 2010 02:02 pm (UTC)
It's sad that there are still idiotic hate mongers in the world. I don't know when you'd address the Klan or other groups, but discrimination may be an issues much earlier than you think. Children carry preconceived notions with them, embedded by thier parents, when they first begin school. My baby SIL, I cringe to say, has been swayed by her father, my much older FIL (who was undoubtedly raised like that too). She is sixteen now, (my FIL is in his mid-60s), so he has begun to make choices for herself about friends, boyfriends, etc but I am still stunned, mortified really when he says bigoted things. It really horrifies me that she has grown up with that and has some residual mistrust of people based on their complexion.
Jan. 18th, 2010 02:18 pm (UTC)
Well, bigotry won't be permitted in my house and never really has been, but my primary concern is that my kid is hispanic (1/4 mexican) and he may be targeted by bigots.

In Detroit, I don't know that there's a huuuuge concern with white on black bigotry here - if you can't tolerate black people, frankly, Detroit is not a town you should be hanging out around.

There is, however, a large arab population, as well as a small hispanic population. In our last apartment (before the house we rented, and the one we bought, about 2002-2003) we got a crude threat about killing us sand (n-word) if we don't go back to our country or something retarded like that. Mind you, Becky's half Mexican, but she's often mistaken as Lebanese here, even by other Lebanese people.

So there's the obvious bigotry against hispanic people, but then a secondary one where he may be mistaken as another ethnic group that also seems in vogue to hate.

So I'm trying to figure out a way to warn my kid that there are people out there that will hate him, and possibly mean him harm,for absolutely no reason other than the fact he's brownish, without ruining his view of the world or putting him at risk by not giving a good enough warning.

I didn't find any good training materials but honestly I'm white and have no idea where to even start looking for this sort of thing. I'm sure it's something that's addressed in ethnic neighborhoods, or taught by people who have gone through it (while I am catholic, the kid I met in highschool who tried to invite me to a klan meeting (hah! good job doing your homework on that, kid!) seemed more apt to ignore me and pretend I didn't exist rather than try to do me harm).
Jan. 19th, 2010 12:17 am (UTC)
Tenzin was saying stuff about the black kids at his preschool, and I talked to him a bunch of times about it before he finally got it. I told him that saying "the black kids" were mean is like saying "all girls" are mean. Then we talked about girls that he likes, like mommy and his cousins. It took several conversations over a few days, but he finally got it. I insisted that he learn the kid's names. I told him it's ok to say "Brendan was mean to me" because that doesn't mean that all kids who look like Brendan are mean.

It's not easy to explain but I think it's worth it.

Jan. 22nd, 2010 06:56 am (UTC)
Move to Texas, then he'll be more apt to be ridiculed because he's 3/4ths white :)

It's really sad to see that we still have to teach about bigotry and racism. It's been kind of refreshing to be down here and see the very cultured blend. But, it's all about how you raise the child and what you instil for values. If you teach good morals, the matter will (for the most part) resolve itself.
Jan. 22nd, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC)
hah remember crazy sand n-word lady downstairs at TA? Didn't she threaten me with a knife once?
Jan. 22nd, 2010 05:06 pm (UTC)
I do remember the lady, I just remember the base threat when we parked in her spot and we threatened to call the cops on her, as she threatened to call the cops on us... Realizing she was wrong she got racial on our white asses :)
Jan. 18th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC)
Whenever you think he's ready to join should be fine.

Jan. 18th, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
You start by making sure he knows (at a very early age) that he's just fine the way he is, and by talking about the fact that there are people of many different races/colors/religions/etc and how they're all fine too. There was a study recently that parents need to specifically say these things to their children, or kids don't know what to think, and assume that different = bad.

You focus on things that build self esteem and self confidence - focus on things he's good at and things that he works hard to achieve.

Then....you handle things as they come up. Kids will be cruel for a million and one reasons, not just because of where they think your family is from.
Jan. 19th, 2010 12:13 am (UTC)
We started in on Tenzin from day one pretty much with "be gentle" and "don't be a bully" and "bullies are bad guys." We let him watch tons of violent stuff, and we probably shouldn't, but we always add a running commentary of "wow, that guy needs to sit on the naughty spot" or "what a bully."

It helps that he LOVES the Jedi and Indiana Jones and Batman and so it's easy for him to identify with the good guys.

There are bullies everywhere. You won't need to really go into specific hate groups if you teach him to tell the difference between self defense and being a bully. Oh, and due to Batman we've had to discuss how being a vigilante will sometimes also get you into trouble.

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )