Explaining To A Child Why Blackface Is Wrong
My daughter (who is almost seven) had an idea for a Halloween costume which involved painting her face black. I'm not the most politically correct person in the world, but I know that ain't happenin'. So, like any responsible parent, I deflected without really explaining why, but the situation still saddens me.
About a week ago, we were watching The Blind Side and there were a couple of occasions where she had questions about what was going on. She would say things like "Are they talking about the big guy?" and I thought it was nice that she wasn't saying "the black guy". Not that there is anything wrong with identifying him that way; he was after all the only "black guy" in the room for many of the scenes, but it's just not part of her lexicon.
If this turns out to be one of those issues that comes up again, I'm going to have to at least hit the highlights of why its inappropriate for her to paint her face black. I think it will be the first time she's ever really thought about race.
On second thought...if it comes up again, I'm going to lie to her. I'm going to say that it will be too hard for cars to see her. That will be easier.