Sunday, April 27, 2008

My Contempt with the South

I have many emotions flooding my being right now. Not good ones either. More sadness and anger. We moved to NC to experience another place and because it was warm, the cost of living was lower than Upstate NY, NO SNOW and the seasons were longer. These are all still very important to me and I love it here for those reasons. There is no doubt that it is beautiful here and each morning I wake up and look around I continue to be in awe with it. BUT the social, educational and environmental issues continue to bother me and more so now that my son is in school. My daughter attends a preschool that fosters open minded thinking, tolerance for all individuals without regard to religion, race, sex etc. and respects the environment so these issues are not prevalent. When we moved here we were naive and did not have a clue that such hatred still existed and continued to be prolific.

Over the last few weeks our family has been faced with a few issues that have come up and thankfully Gavin asks questions and comes to us with them. A few weeks ago while playing with his friend on the play ground Gavin was told that he shouldn't play with black boys because they could beat him up. I heard his friend stand up and say to the boys that they shouldn't say that because it was racist. I of course told him I was proud of him for taking a stand and wondered what they said and he quickly told me. Upon hearing what transpired, I told the boys if they didn't have anything nice to say they shouldn't say anything at all and shortly after that they left the playground.

My husband told me this morning that Gavin asked the best question and he was surprised by it but glad he asked. As he told me the question and his response I was flooded with many emotions and tears welled in my eyes. Gavin was told by someone at his school that only white people could marry white people and black people had to marry black people. Of course Gavin was testing it and asked if it was true. My heart filled with joy that he asked but was filled with sadness that he was told that and he's only in kindergarten. My husband of course told him that when he is old enough to marry someone he should love them for the person they are not for the color of their skin. He explained that we chose friends based on their character and whether they were good people not for what they looked like.

It's alarming and sad to me that my children are faced with such hatred and we have to undo what has been done while they are away. Thankfully they ask questions and we have a family that fosters open minded thinking and open communication with each other.

Someday I hope that we as people come together and love each other for who we are and not what color our skin is or what religion we believe in.

Peace. A small word with a tremendous message...

2 comments:

E said...

I understand your dilema a bit more than I would like to, but as the child. When I was 12 my parents moved from Maine to Virginia. I was in 6th grade and had never been taught anything but respect for everyone. Stereotypes were on tv and and they were not real. When I moved to Richmond I learned quite differently and ended up being a minority in a situation that I did not understand. The things your child is hearing now, unfortunatly will be a continuing issue. I have raised one child in the south and took him out of public school at 9th grade and homeschooled him. I love the south, but in ways I hate it too. Those years I spent in school made me distrust what my parents taught me up North. It was only when I got older and wiser that I realized that my parents were right, but at the time I took the views of those around me as gospel, mostly to fit in. You can not change people, but you can be the best influence that your children have.

Whimsical Jewels said...

Thanks so much for your comments and encouragement...