Last night, Kendrick and I were talking about Christian Cooper - the man who videotaped a white woman in Central Park flipping her lid and telling the cops that "an African-American man" was "threatening" her, despite the fact that he was demonstrably doing nothing of the sort - and George Floyd, whose story is so heartbreaking it defies description. About how easily the former story could have taken the the turn that the latter's did. Our son overheard us, and started asking questions. We answered as best as we could, while I tried to dance around the parts that sounded too scary for an eight-year-old. I don't know that I should have done that.
I don't know what to do.
How do you explain to a child that systematic racism is a "we" problem, when they may not be old enough to contextualize beyond "me" (e.g. white people did this --> white people are bad --> I am white --> I am bad). I have struggled also to explain the gross injustices suffered by women in this country to my son, a white boy who will one day grow into a white man. He sees t-shirts that say "Girl power" and I try to help him understand why he can't wear a t-shirt that says the same about him. I am trying to raise a nice boy. I also remember the things that the "nice boys" at my liberal arts university did to their female peers.