Cats Aren’t Racist

Hey Parents,

TLDR: What are you working on for Black History Month? How do you introduce racism to a first grader?

I can’t speak for anyone else, but for our first-grader, this will be our first time specifically discussing racism. As a kindergartner during Black History Month, you discuss everyone’s differences and the important of kindness. As a first grader, shit just got real. We are doing a report on W.E.B. Dubois. This is not so simple. This is not standing up to bullies by staying seated on a bus or demanding equality through peaceful demonstration and a powerful dream speech. This is explaining the NAACP. It never occurred to my child that being black, brown, blue or pink mattered. And in hindsight, at age 7, that never occurred to me either. Until someone made it occur to me. As a young child, my basic takeaway was that white people are horrific and black people are victims – this was at the simplest, most innocent level. It goes without saying that racism is STILL 100% alive and well in 2020, but are we perpetuating the idea by continuously introducing it the way we do? Is there a way to teach this without giving one child a reason to start questioning differences they never noticed and another child a reason to feel resentment they never had? How do we honor the legacies of the past, their sacrifices and injustices suffered – without planting a vulnerable little seed? How do we eradicate the entire concept of racism without introducing the concept of racism?

Photo of our mixed-race, same-sex cats – because like my kid, they don’t give a shit.

#notaskingforafriend #blackhistorymonth #catsarentracist

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