G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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At GMP, Ira Booker initially was concerned that his three-year-old son was a racist. But he talks himself through it and decides that his kid isn’t a bigot. Thank goodness because what would the neighbors think. He writes:
At the dinner table the other night, my wife and I were giving our son Selby the usual grilling about his day at preschool. He told us his favorite activity of the day was playing with two of the other boys in his class. These weren’t two of his usual sidekicks, so we asked why he liked hanging out with those particular kids. He smiled and said, “Their hair looks like my hair!” My wife and I exchanged a glance. The fair-haired friends Selby referred to were the only other white males in his class. Did we have an unwitting, three-year-old segregationist on our hands?
2. “usual grilling about his day at preschool”
3. “white males”
4. “three-year-old segregationist”
I will admit, though, that I was a little disappointed to hear that the boy was hanging with the other white kids. Again, this stems back to my rural upbringing. By the time I got to high school, I actually had a few classmates of color – not many, but a few. Once I was old enough to self-identify as a liberal, it became something of a badge of honor to be seen hanging out with my non-white friends. It didn’t take long for me to realize this was silly and more than a little racist on my part, but at the time it seemed like a rebellion against what I saw as the hopeless redneckery of my peers. As lame as I know it is for a white guy to brag about having a black friend, some small part of me still wants to be able to brag about my kid having a bunch of black friends. Fortunately, that nonsense doesn’t figure into Selby’s day plan. He plays with whoever strikes him as the most fun on any given day, giving precious little thought to his father’s creepy idiocy.