Friday, January 21, 2011

Martin. Luther. King. Jr.

This week on Martin Luther King day, I watched Oprah.  With my children.

This is unusual in that I almost never watch Oprah. And if ever I do, it's over the objections of my progeny who mightily protest the cessation of cartoon drivel.

Oprah was revisiting some of her shows on racism over the past 25 years.  At some point Sydney was asking "why the people were being mean to those kids".  

It was a story about some African American high school students attending a previously whites only high school in the south.  I explained the overt 2 classes of citizenry just a few decades ago.

They were puzzled.

"Why does it matter about the colour of their skin?" Jackson asked "Why does that matter for what high school they go to?"

So we talked about all the irrelevant things about people that don't tell us anything. Height. Weight. Skin colour. Eye colour. Hair colour.

"Because people that have dark skin are good just like people with light skin" Sydney pronounced.

"Well, what I'm saying is skin doesn't tell us anything about the way people are. You need to see in people's hearts to know what kind of people they are.  See how they treat people and what their actions are."

The three of us talked about a few more Oprah segments.  I was heartened to hear them, like most of their generation, express their disbelief in how things used to be. It didn't make sense in the current paradigm.

After an hour, the show was over and I felt good. About this generation of kids and about how far we've come.  I know that we have a ways to go as a civilization and that I can do more.

Sydney summed it all up for us.

"Mommy, these ideas are really important.   I need to sit and think about them. Over a bowl of chips. Can you get me some chips?"

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