Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr.

We watched this video this morning, Emma and I. She, curled up on my lap, snuggling deep and watching closely for the entirety of the speech.

We talked about the past, and about segregation, discrimination and about how God created everyone equal. We talked about equality and love and understanding.

She wants to go to Martin Luther King Jr's grave site. I told her we would try to, but not today. Georgia is a bit far.

"Mom?" she asked, in her serious way. "Mom, if all this hadn't happened, and things were like they were back then, what would I be?"

"What do you mean, sweetie?" I asked, "If all what hadn't happened? Do you mean if it was still like it was back then, when Martin Luther King made his speech?"

"Yeah, if the black people and the white people went to different places, what would I be?"

Realization suddenly dawned on me. This sweet, racially colorblind child, wondering where she would fit into a segregated world. "Honey, you are white."

"Really? I would be white?" She looked confused. I don't know if she was just still trying to figure it all our, or if she just didn't want to be associated with people who treated others badly.

"Honey, you are white, whether this happened or not. Your skin is white, and that makes you white. What is important is to know that it doesn't matter what color a person's skin is, God made everyone just perfectly, so whether they are white or black or something else, each person is created by God and no one is better or more deserving or smarter than anyone else based on the color of their skin. Does that make sense?"

She thought about it for a minute, then looked up at me again. "Mommy, I'm so glad the laws are changed. If not, I wouldn't be able to have a lot of my friends, and I might not be allowed to go to my school. I like things just like they are."

I though of Martin Luther King Jr's speech. We do not live in the south, and yes, racism is still an issue most places. But as for my child and her friends, in their sweet, six year old world, the dream that "little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers" has come true. Emma lives in a world where it is a reality that "the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood." I only hope that the world continues to change for the better, and that this is the only reality she ever knows.

I kissed her sweet head. "Me, too, sweetie. Me too."


TheOldestStudent said...

Geez, Tiff! Way to make me cry at work! That was too beautiful!

kymberly said...


Stephanie @ said...

Aww this made me so happy. My girls are colorblind and I hope to keep it that way :)