Why does it amaze me that things like this still happen? We’re supposed to be so enlightened, ushered in to a new age of racial friendship by President McNobelPrize, the deeply-rooted problems of this country solved miraculously over a Bud.
And yet. And yet.
I have a son. He’s mixed. He’s not remotely Mexican (and even if he were, should that matter?), but he could be walking home one day with his white girlfriend and be beaten senseless by “good kids”. Track stars. 4.0 GPAs.
And it terrifies me.
I hear statements from my students so many times, running the gamut of misinformed to shockingly prejudiced. But these are students from other countries, some having herded camels as recently as last week, from societies rife with tribal warfare and barbarically- enforced religious law.
This is not that place. These are not those people (yes, I know, and even if they were….).
I hear so many people say with such conviction that we’re all blank slates- born with nothing but goodness, sweetness, and an evolutionary predisposition to do good and save the earth. Babies are born good, right? Full of potential, only lacking a little “pruning”, straight little shoots going right up toward the sun.
So explain this. What do you do when kids with such stable backgrounds, such middle-America ethos, such blond-crew-cut upbringings- with everything in the world going for them, beat a man into the ground?
And how, as parents, do we prepare our kids for this? How did the parents of these kids prepare them?
And how do I prepare myself?