Monday, January 17, 2011

Different Colors

We lived in what could be deemed the 'older' part of Birmingham.  It was the place to be back in the 1950's, but now people have moved south of the city and out to the suburbs.  Don't get me wrong, our neighborhood is wonderful and I am encouraged by the support system that works to keep our part of the world nice and clean, but when we venture out ... well, we as Caucasians are the minority.

Andrew took Leah with him to Wal-Mart one day last week.  Leah, our curious (and loud) 3 year old turned to her Daddy and proclaimed:

"Daddy, why are all the people brown?"

Oh the innocence of a child.  Of course she meant nothing offensive by her statement.  She didn't know that she was breaking the 'PC' guidelines.  She just had a question.

"Because God made them that way," Andrew answered.
"Why did he make them brown?"
"Because he did ... shush"

Did I mention she is loud?

On this day where we remember the life of Martin Luther King Jr.; I have a dream of my own that I would like to share.

My dream is that my children will never see a hint of racism from me.  They will never hear me change the inflection of my voice.  They will never see me treat anybody differently than I treat them.

I believe my generation is still a bit tainted with racism.  No, it's not outward.  People of a different race are no longer forced to sit on the back of the bus or be sprayed down with water hoses.  They no longer have their own restrooms, their own water fountains, their own seats at the bar.

But there is still a tension passed down from our parents.  Our parents lived the Civil Rights Movement. My parents were both pulled from there public high schools in Montgomery, AL when segregation was passed and put in a brand new private school.  They struggled with it as kids, and I saw some of that struggle in the way they lived their lives.

I see my generation as overcoming the tendencies passed down from years before.  I see myself overcoming any judgment I learned as a youth.  I see my children understanding even more that everyone deserves the same rights.

And though I know my inquisitive three year old can notice that people are colored differently, but my dream is that she also notices how everyone is the same no matter the color of our skin.

Happy MLK day ... hey work ... next year can I have the day off?

A piece of canvas is only the beginning for
It takes on character with every loving stroke
This thing of beauty is the passion of an Artist's heart
By God's design, we are a skin kaleidoscope

We've gotta come together,
Aren't we all human after all?

-Colored People by dc Talk

1 comment:

comments make the world go round, kind words make the sun shine, and nice thoughts make the rain fall ... what? the flowers have to grow somehow ...