Hope everybody had a great Easter, enjoyed family time, the great weather and the abundance of chocolate (I’m stocking up on all that Easter chocolate going on sale). I had time with my family, enjoyed some good weather but also experienced what I think has been one of the most difficult parenting broken heel moments I’ve encountered yet. It’s very unfortunate that it’s the negative experiences the ones we learn most from.
On the Saturday we had AMAZING weather so I decided to go visit a girlfriend of mine with my kids, my sister and my mom. We ended up meeting her at a park that’s near her home so that the kids could enjoy some time outdoors, all in all it was an alright afternoon. All until I noticed my oldest daughter (7 years old) being cornered on a park bench by one of the other mothers that was on the playground with her kids. I was on the phone at the moment but I was close enough to overhear this woman scolding my daughter and question what she (my daughter) had called her son? I witnessed my daughter sink into herself and in a small voice tell this woman that she didn’t say anything to her son…this is where the mama bear mode kicks into overdrive. Keep in mind that this happened in a matter of seconds, just because I’m not eyeballing my kid the whole time she’s away from me doesn’t mean I’m not paying attention to EVERYTHING going on around her.
I approach this woman and ask her what the problem is, she in return whips around and tells me “Your daughter called my son a Honky”…..yea….you read that right! This is more or less the dialogue from there:
Me: Excuse me?
Her: You heard me! She called my son a Honky!
Me: You are mistaken, my daughter did not call your son a Honky. You must have heard wrong.
Her: Oh! I am not mistaken! I know what I heard!
Me: And I know my daughter. She does not know what that word is or that it even exists.
Her: Well she must have learned it from somewhere!
At this point my daughter is crying, the kids on the playground have stopped playing and all the parents have focused all their attention on the spectacle going on by the damn jungle gym. This woman has also been yelling through all this. I on the other hand am anti-yelling. I believe that as a race we have come far enough not to have to raise our voices to get our points across and believe that I am intelligent enough not to have to do that…BUT she pushed me. She went after my cub…
Me: (slapped her finger out my face) Don’t point your f*#^%! finger at me and grow the f*&# up. Who the hell comes to yell at a 7-year-old? She has a mother, I’m her mother, you look for ME.
Her: I wasn’t yelling at her! (complete and total b.s.) I was yelling at you ok lady! Do you know what I can call your daughter?!?
BOOM! This was it folks. These were the words that made that black start creeping in around my vision and blurring the Cruella DeVille looking witch in front of me. I was LIVID.
Me: What can you call my daughter?!?!
Her: (looks at her Paul Bunyan looking husband) What can I call her daughter? Oh come on! You know what I can call her!
At this point I’m thinking of the many ways I can take this Crypt Keeper looking hag down, then realise her husband will either A) pull me off of her B) or hit me back. My rationale is…”If I’m gonna go to jail for hitting this b*#%$ he’s coming with me!” While I’m thinking this I see my daughter crying on a park bench with my friend’s little girl sitting beside her comforting her, my sister is behind me with her BFF holding my 2-year-old and I also see this woman’s kids staring at all this…I kept my hands to myself, grabbed my kids and left.
For those of you that don’t know, my kids are bi-racial. I’m Hispanic and their dad is Jamaican. You look at both of them and you can clearly see that they are mixed, especially my oldest. So it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what word this woman was referring to. My kids aren’t exposed to any kind of racial slurs, I won’t stand for it. Once I had a chance to let the anger subside and think about what had happened…I cried. I cried for the remainder of that weekend. Something I thought was impossible also happened…I love my kids so much more!
I realised how much I’ve grown up. How becoming a mother has helped me learn to take the higher roads and become a better person all around. If I was at another stage in my life I would have acted out on what I wanted to do to this person and worried about the consequences once they came. After I had my first daughter I remember talking about the challenges she might be met with because of her background with her father. I remember him telling me that she would have to face discrimination from the black and white community because she was bi-racial. I refused to believe that, I was going to teach my kids how to look past skin colour and love everyone the same so why would people look at them and do otherwise? This was a bitter pill to swallow and one I hope I wont be faced with again but I now know that its something that I need to be ready for.
My question to you is: Do you think we should teach our kids about racism in schools? Do you think it might create more tension on the playground if we teach our kids about racism? Perhaps we should heed Morgan Freeman’s words and just stop talking about it!