I did my own version of an old social experiment recently. While shopping, Mercy was looking at two nearly identical dolls. The only difference was that one was brown and one was white. I asked her very nonchalantly which doll she preferred. She looked them both over and proclaimed that the white one was "so cute" and the brown one was "stinky".
Break. my. heart.
We talk routinely about how we are different on the outside, but the same on the inside. We talk about how even though she is brown and we are white that God brought our family together and made us ALL good. We've read books celebrating a diversity of colors, and yet here is my brown daughter saying that "brown is stinky".
We do talk about race in our house openly. I think it is silly to pretend that we are colorblind. We choose instead to celebrate our differences, than pretend they don't exist. I'll never forget the look on her face when I told Mercy there were a lot of white people who paid good money to get their skin more brown. Clearly, that was the craziest thing she had ever heard.
Mercy has told me that when she was a baby she was white (really?!). She's also said she wished she had a brown mom & dad, not a different mom and dad than us per se, just that she wished that WE were brown. I don't know if she just wants to "fit in" (in her mind) or if she just wants no distinction between her and the rest of our family.
It's tough. I want her to be completely & utterly proud of her beautiful brown skin.
So how do you celebrate diversity or teach your children to be proud of who they are? I'd love to get a good dialogue going on this subject. Respectful comments appreciated!