One of the reasons I started this blog is to help me understand racism and how it affects my child (and myself). And in beginning, it has suddenly become clearer to me how subtle racism is when you’re not looking for it and how glaring it is when you are. I liken it to buying a new car and suddenly you see that same car all around the city when before you never noticed it.
So it is that I went to a party the other night that easily had over a hundred people and not one of them was a person of color. It was so noticeable to me, but I’m sure that I’ve been to many parties where that is the case, but had never noticed it before.
A Facebook friend, a literal one, a guy I don’t know but who I connected with thinking he was someone else, wrote a post the other day about watching the old claymation Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer movie with Burl Ives. I thought that was a good one to rent for me and Tin since he’s never seen a feature length movie and it seemed this would be innocuous and fun enough.
We watched it the first day of Hanukkah together and after it was over I was struck by the fact that it was a very white Christmas in the North Pole, very white indeed. And although the movie was nice and sweet, I wondered how many children of color have had to endure a legacy of winter white children’s classics. And then Tin wanted to watch it again on the second night of Hanukkah, so we did.
And when it was over, I still had the same sense of whiteness. I wondered to myself what could be done about it all – you can’t go in and colorize it without it looking ridiculous, you couldn’t add a character to an old classic without it seeming trite – and then I saw it. At the end of the CD were extras and on the list was a video of ” target=”_blank”>Destiny’s Child in claymation doing Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer.
Tin loved it – even Sam the talking snowman was getting down to the beat. We watched it three times and Tin kept calling it “the other one.”
Once you switch the race lens on, it seems almost impossible to turn it off, and I’m wondering how often parents of different race children or even ethnic parents “see” what I now see and how they make it up for it with their children’s resources?