Black and White

We celebrated Mother's Day Sunday. It was a very special day for me, as a mom. I still have to sit back and remember that I am a mom, that this very special blessing was bestowed on me. I can really hardly believe it because for so long I just thought motherhood, or being a wife, for that matter, would never happen for me.

Now, not only am I a mother but we just celebrated four years of marriage!!! Where has the time gone?

We met some friends at the mall later on in the day and we had to let Carter out of his stroller because he was tired of being confined. We sat on the stage at Opry Mills Mall and let Carter go 'round and 'round. He came over to us and I was holding him when a little girl made her way across the stage to tell Carter 'hello'. Her name was Kayla. She looked a little bit older than Carter but not by much. She was ecstatic to see Carter. Her mom was trying to get her to repeat his name. She wanted to give Carter a hug. Then Carter wanted to kiss her. It was too sweet. Then Kayla's mom took her back to the other side of the stage. Carter followed suit and started following her around the stage. I don't think she quite knew what to do about Carter. Then they just started acting like toddlers playing around.

As I sat there watching Carter and this little girl it struck me that Carter had no idea that that little girl was a different color than him. She is black, he is white. She, also, was oblivious to the skin color. They were just happy they had met each other and wanted to have some fun.

It got me thinking about a song in the musical South Pacific called "You Have to be Carefully Taught". I have only seen the 1958 movie version and have the soundtrack.

Prejudice is, unfortunately, something that surrounds us even today. It will always be with us. I think each of us are prejudiced in some way. Some more than others. It is a very sensitive subject for some people. It always amazes me how some people love to hate. And for the most ridiculous reasons with many justifications and rationalizations.

Some of us that think we are liberated and educated enough and have "come into our own" so to speak. But racism meets us in the face every day. How we treat people. How we refer to them as a 'color'. Like that needs to proceed a description, as if that will help describe the person better.

Greg and I have talked about teaching Carter about racism. I feel extremely strongly about it and so does Greg. We have talked about the 'what ifs'. What if Carter falls in love with a woman of a different color? Are we that comfortable with letting go of racism and preconceived notions to 'allow' that?

I feel very strongly that is it just as much racism to say you can be friends with someone of a different color but you can't fall in love and marry someone of a different color. I believe that is a double standard. Kind of like another movie I once saw, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner". Those parents were 'liberated' in their thinking and thought they had taught their daughter well. Until she brought home a black man.

Does that mean I am encouraging Carter to marry someone of a different race? No, I am not going to worry about that. If Greg and I teach Carter and train him in the way he should go, I believe the Lord will tell him who he should marry, not me. I do want my son to grow up with diversity and I welcome any friendships of any nationality. That is something that was made clear to me that was not permitted growing up.

I won't get into that for respect to my family. I will leave this post with the lyrics from the song from South Pacific. It is something to think about. If you are raising children today. Please think about racism and the impact it has on how you treat other people and what you think about other people.

You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught from year to year,
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear—
You’ve got to be carefully taught
You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a different shade—
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late—
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate—
You’ve got to be carefully taught!
You’ve got to be carefully taught!
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