Saturday, April 29, 2006

Racism Case Study (5 years old)

Wide-body is two years old. He attends family based day care – he goes to a neighbour's house where the delightful Margie, who could be anyone's grandmother, looks after about 5 kids, ranging in age from almost walking to ready for school. Wide-body attends with his first cousin on his father's side, who is a mere few days older than him, Grump.

Margie bathes the kids every day. One day, the eldest in the group who must soon leave it, Emmy, decides that she is all grown up: she will help Margie bathe the younger children.

Margie allocates Wide-body to Emmy. Emmy sits beside the tub, scrubbing and scrubbing at Wide Body's skin. She finally says, in near tears, to Margie: It's not coming off!

What isn't? Margie says in return.

Here – look! Emmy will show Margie – but she is showing Margie Wide-body's arms.

Wide-body is like me – a deep orange-based brown; he has some blue tones which I do not think I have.

Margie tries to explain to Emmy that Wide-body was just born that way – it's his natural skin colour. But Margie tries using 'Wide-body's family all have skin that colour'. Emmy's smarter than that – she knows what a cousin is. So she hauls towards Margie the white example of Grump. Grump is like her mother – a bit whiter, with a pleasant yellow undertone.

Oh oh – we have a problem.

We are different from you, Emmy. And, Margie, we are different from each other too.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.