Color-blind kids: is it a good thing?
When my 6 year old was trying to get our family to guess the name Barak Obama the other day, he described our new President without ever mentioning the fact that the man is African American or black. This prompted my husband to state that our children will have the luxury of being “color-blind” when it comes to race. While I’m not sure that being racially colorblind will be quite the reality of my children’s still-young generation, it does make me wonder if that is even really a good thing?
After living and marrying in a very diverse part of Florida, my parents raised our family in the Pacific Northwest without any discussion or mention of racial differences that I remember as a kid. Living in a community without much diversity, those weren’t conversations that were ever prompted by circumstance. Although well intentioned, I don't really feel my parents did me any great benefit by living as if racial differences don't exist. It wasn’t until recent years that I even learned about the concept of “white privilege”; it was just something I obliviously lived. Shortly after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I asked a few girlfriends (all caucasian and parents of 5-6 year old kids) how they talk to their kids about race so they at grow up conscious that racial disparity is real. They all agreed our kids are too young to go there, to call attention to differences that our kids don't notice yet.
So mamas, what do you think about all of this? Are color-blind kids a good thing? How so? Beyond how we as mamas talk about our own diversity, how do you talk to your kids about race, diversity, prejudice, and privilege?