I just read this post about a little kid playing with other little kids and being castigated for it. The boy was playing at a park, noticed some white girls, and decided to go play with them. The white girls felt that the little boy was “scary” and went to tell their moms. The moms looked around for a same-race mother and when they didn’t find one began to make unflattering comments about said boy. The boy’s trans-racial adoptive mother waited to see what else would happen before confronting the white folks.
Simply worded “that’s my son. He’s not here alone, and I’m pretty sure you aren’t telling the truth.”
The looks on their faces… I can’t begin to put words to it. Busted, because they knew they were the bullies. Shocked, expecting a mom that fit the predetermined image of that “mean black boy”. Regretful, as they realized I heard every hurtful comment that rolled off their tongues.
Before this experience, I would’ve said I don’t believe we still have a race issue here. Yep, I’m playing the race card a minute. But these same girls didn’t bat an eye at the skinny white boy, who was far more aggressive than my son. They didn’t run away and cry. They played with that boy. But when the Haitian boy wanted to play, suddenly he’s mean and scary.
It always makes me laugh and makes me sad when white people adopt children of color and don’t believe that systemic racism, prejudice, bias, and bigotry are alive and well. I’m glad she was there to finally see what her son has probably experienced before. Perhaps this will open her eyes to her family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. when they make these kinds of comments towards someone else’s “mean and scary”son.