I’m an educated mother, so bringing up smart, kind children with compassion toward others is so important to me. And in this age of unlimited information at our fingertips, there’s really no excuse for not being able to do so, especially when it comes to controversial subjects. My kids will learn about the LGBTQ community, they will learn about sex, and they will certainly learn about race. In fact, I’m going out of my way to raise actively anti-racist children: That’s why I’m pulling them out of our local public school and sending them to a majority white one a few neighborhoods away.
It’s crucial that my children grow up as global citizens, able to empathize with people from all walks of life and make friends with whoever comes their way. To me, there’s no other option. It’s who me and my husband are as people, and it’s who we want our kids to be. And to do that, we’re making sure that we’re pulling the right strings to have them enrolled in a school that is technically not in our district and has maybe 3% students of color but has better funding because the property taxes are higher in the surrounding neighborhood. Sure, they may not have any friends of color while they’re young, but think of how ready they’ll be for them in the future!
As white people raising white children with the help of our white au pair (we could’ve hired a person of color, but Amelie speaks French and we want the kids to be bilingual), it’s up to us to make sure that the influence of people of color is present in their lives. And while sending them to the school closest to us that is a beautiful mix of children from different cultural backgrounds seems like it would make the most sense, we don’t want them to get influenced in the wrong way. Not that those kids are the wrong kind of kids, they’re only in elementary school! But you never know what their home lives are like, you know? And my husband knows the mayor, so no one’s gonna ask questions.
I don’t hold any racial bias whatsoever, I feel like I need to make that clear even though no one asked.
My kids will be brought up free from the complicated racial ideas that so often become a part of children’s psyches so very young. Maybe there’s a Montessori school or a Quaker school or something that’s even more white somewhere around here. Anything to provide them with the education they deserve.
What? White parents have been sending their white children to better schools since the bussing days of the 1960s, so I don’t really see what the issue is!
The bottom line is, I will take my kids to social justice protests, I will provide them with age appropriate books and media on race and history, I’ll even order Indian food for dinner every once in a while (just not too often, it’s so smelly). I will do whatever it takes to make sure that my children grow up as anti-racist as possible. I just want them to do it in a school that I feel safe about having them in. And to me, that’s one that’s mostly white. Why do I correlate those things? Um, are you calling me racist?