Friday, November 2, 2012

Late Night Rant

Today I volunteered in an after school program. I helped them draw, do homework and play games among other things. It didn’t occur to me until tonight how amazing the kids were; not for what they can do but what they don’t do. Let me explain. Every day the children go through their activities, interacting with one another. They do this without the slightest hint or prejudice. Maybe it’s because of their youth, still in elementary, or maybe the world hasn’t taught them to be cruel in the ways adults are. I’ve seen them tease each other but never for a thing the child hasn’t said or done. They don’t look at color and I’ve never heard them mention anything remotely close to income. These things don’t matter.

I fear for the Black girl I push on the swing and cringe I notice that she is or that I even called her the Black girl. I wish I didn’t and I hope no one ever thinks less of her for something she can’t help. I hope I live to see my children not take notice. Does she knows yet or does she see herself the same. I pray she does. And I hope unequal opportunities don’t affect her even as they do now for so many African Americans. I imagine the reminder and the burden of history; being constantly reminded and labeled.

Above all, I’m left with a lesson; that race is constructed and we shouldn’t see it any different. God made humans. There are good people and bad people, and skin color has never determined which was which


  1. Ben I grew up in southern Idaho and there was one boy in the school of African desent... he was always angry and as a child I couldn't figure out why...I wish now I could go to him and say that I regret what you must have gone through. To me he was just another kid.

  2. You said it best when you said race is contructed. I hope we, as a nation, can someday move past this. Great post Ben.

  3. So true! It is all learned and starts within the home. It's a shame. Great insight.