As there are unwritten rules, there are unspoken subjects but I had to share this view. I had the pleasure of spending a weekend with some amazing eight year old girls, one of which was my very own ray of sunshine. As the evening of the first day of fun came to an end, I sat quietly in the drivers seat as my daughter and her friend discussed what school days are like for them. Absorbed with my own to do list and not to do list, I only tuned in for bits and pieces of their conversation, but soon enough they had my undivided attention.
"You know the white kids at my school are fearless. They never give up they always try and if they don’t understand they don’t stop until they get it."
"That is so true! The white kids at my school are like that too. They always try hard but not the black kids if they don’t get it they just give up. They are not like how Martin Luther King was, he seemed like he never gave up and they treated him so bad."
I was speechless. I didnt know if I should interrupt, let them continue, pull over or just pray. Many of the parents I know prefer that their children attend a school that is diverse and affords programs that lead to greater opportunites for thier children to exceed expectations set forth by thier culture. Many of these parents live in a community where they would rather rise at the crack of dawn to get their children to a school far far away to avoid having thier child attend the zoned school.
I share this story not to complain about the education system because that is ever changing. I share this story with thought provoking intentions. We can send our children to Kingdom Come and back to be educated but there are fundamental principles that have to be acquired at home through what they see and hear.
Have we as parents given up on something that seemed to be to hard to achieve? Have we instilled in our children that they are intelligent and have the same abilities as their classmates no matter their complexion? Do we even discuss it, or do we feel like these issues don’t exist?
My daughter told me the other day that her friend said “My Mom says I’m dumb, how could I be dumb? I go to school, I go to afterschool and I go to Saturday Academy.” What are we saying to our children? Is it a reflection of them or us? A reflection of what we’ve done or have not done. many parents have fallen for the teacher be a teacher syndrome. It does take a village to raise a child but your child’s teacher is teaching over 20 children and you the parent are the reason they may get it or don’t get it. As parents we have to determine our children’s future before we even give them a name.
This saddened me because these girls have settled with the thought at 8 years old that their own culture is prone to giving up. Someone other than Lupita has to enforce the idea that thier dreams are valid and then show them how to obtain them. Michelle Obama could visit every classroom across the United States and what good would it do. I say all that to say, Where are you?