How You Can Help Stop Racism
I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone today and talking about something that has been weighing heavy on my heart. I wish I knew a magic formula. There is no magic formula, but there are things you can do to stop racism. I would like to say that I don’t know what it’s like to have my son called the “N” word by his Caucasian peers. I’d love to be able to tell you that that same son wasn’t patted on the head like a dog by one of his Caucasian baseball teammates and told hes’a “good black boy” because he doesn’t ‘walk like this’ while the other child walked with a limp. I would love nothing more than to tell you my curly-haired brown-skinned daughter has never had lies told about her by our neighbors simply because she was ‘black’. I’d also like to shout the news that the same curly-haired brown-skinned beauty was never told by her classmates that they’re not allowed to come play at her house because she’s ‘black’. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you any of those things, because they have all happened; along with many other things.
There are things we, as moms, can do to stop these things from happening though. It is going to require that we all work together as a community. We can no longer ignore that this is a real problem in our great country. We all are essential ingredients in this cultural stew that is simmering in the melting pot we call the United States of America. We have to tap into our empathy and compassion. Compassion for all people is the most important ingredient in this ‘cultural stew’. It is very important for us to not discount anyone’s feelings if they’re feeling like they are being singled out. These feelings are usually valid and should be treated as such.
So, what can you do to help put out the firestorm of racism? It’s actually very simple. One thing you have to realize is that you cannot change the world by yourself. The next thing you have to know is that just changing your household is HUGE! You have more power, as a mom, as a woman; than you know.
- Don’t shy away from having difficult conversations with your children. Always keep an open mind when discussing racism and differences with your children. Just ignoring skin color is not enough. Children are curious creatures and they have questions, even if they may not always ask them.
- Bring up the subject and find out just what they think and what they may have heard. Sometimes your children will pick up bad habits and attitudes outside of your home. Friends and family may say inappropriate things or have negative attitudes toward certain groups of people and these attitudes could rub off on your children. Ask them what they think of different groups of people and ask them why they feel that way. You may just learn a little something about your children that you didn’t know.
- Nip it in the bud! Never, ever let negative attitudes toward any group of people go unchecked. Always address it and address it boldly. Let your children know that these attitudes are unacceptable and dig a little deeper to try and find out where they are picking these attitudes up.
- Don’t say negative things about entire groups of people. I think we’re all guilty of it from time to time. Either we hate politicians because they all lie, or we hate women because they don’t know how to drive, or we hate men because they’re all dogs. We’ve heard it all, but it’s important that we recognize the hate in our own hearts and speech. This makes us much more dependable for our children.
- Remember you’re human. We all mess up. We all say things we wish we didn’t say. Social media amplifies that for us and it’s not always good. We don’t need our own mistakes on replay in our heads. Recognize when you’ve said or done something that was based on a stereotype toward a group and apologize. Learning to apologize and teaching that to your children is one of the greatest gifts you could ever give them!
Now, go out and spread some love! Let go of any preconceived ideas you may have about anyone for any reason and love them anyway! Who knows, you might just learn something and make a new friend along the way <3 “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” I know we’re going to.