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Kindergarten Racism

Last night Aiden told Andy that they played basketball at school and the teams' names were The Hawkeyes and The Mexicans.  "You know, like Mexican food!  Isn't that funny, Dad?"  It broke Andy's heart, because he knew it didn't mean Mexican food.  At first we weren't sure who to handle this.  1.) Ignore it.  2.) Tell him the truth.  So, I went with #2 and this morning had a talk with him about what that really meant.

Ok, ok, I am NOT that person that is PC (politically correct).  I say white, black, Mexican, sit Indian style, etc.  And I do not say them with any racism or derogatory-ness (I'm sure that's not a word, sorry) behind those words.  I'm a black and white kinda gal, meaning it's this or that, there's not a lot of 'gray' in my thinking.  I've never once been offended when called 'white'.  Now, I know there are some people that say these things with viciousness, I am not one of them, neither is my husband and neither will my children be.  SO, I was the one called upon to try and explain this to poor Aiden.  Ha!

How did it go?  I think ok, although that boy's mind runs a mile a minute and I don't ever know if he's really hearing me or thinking of what he's going to be playing with at playtime that day.  Basically I told him that no, it did not mean Mexican food, someone meant it in a mean way.  I told him we're all different, no one is better or worse than anyone else and we don't ever say mean things about people because they may act or look different than we do. 

Honestly, I didn't think we'd ever encounter this with our kids.  I naively thought our generation was past that and wouldn't be passing it on to our kids.  Wrongo.  Grr.  Seriously, can't we all just get along?  I did send an email to his teacher, she was not happy about the team name and spoke to the other kindergarten teacher.  They decided together to have a class discussion about this before recess today.  I'm anxious for Aiden to get home so I can find out what he learned from that discussion.  Hopefully he doesn't realize I'm the tattle tale.

Have a great afternoon!

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