Monday, August 17, 2009

Racist Intuition

There are many things that black people have to be prepared for when going into the world to make a life for ourselves. In our youth black people don't have the luxury (like the privileged white) of just learning our ABC's or to feed ourselves or to tie our shoes. Unfortunately there does come a certain time when parents have to talk to their children about people being mean to them because of their skin color. Parents do a great deal from infancy to graduation for their kids but black parents have to do so much more to ensure that their children have an extra shield of armor that I call racist intuition.

Racist Intuition is a necessary ability and i
t takes years to develop the racial intuition black people need to truly handle racism which is why preparation starts in childhood. Like self defense train--you kick ass--you ask questions! Black people DO NOT need white people to be in agreement for us to acknowledge that racists are in our midst or that racism has taken place against us. We know what it is when we see it because we've lived a good majority of our lives dealing with it. Not calling racism out is what racists hope for because that gives them the ability to be more insidious with their efforts.

As a black parent, you pray that you can give your children enough information that will get them through elementary school but not so much that they don't get to experience being just kids. Black parents have to constantly augment the amount of information given as necessary to protect their children through high school and beyond to hopefully ensure that the "real world" holds no mystery for them when confronted with racism. We have to take it step by step otherwise you risk overwhelming your child in a way that makes them less prepared to be aware. No rose colored glasses for black children..uh-uh... they have to be prepared.

I am speaking as a parent that had to prepare my child and preparation began in elementary and now there are new challenges now that she is in Jr. High School . It does make me angry that there was a need to prepare my daughter for it...but it had to be done.

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