I just read a story that has me feeling all sorts of emotions. Mostly anger, frustration, and sadness. Guess I should start at the beginning. My friend Sara posted an article on her feed about a young boy and his mom. She wrote about a paragraph along with the article. Nothing wrong with that. The story was about a four year old boy getting bullied at daycare. Kinda heartbreaking in itself but there’s more. The boy’s mom wanted to know why he’d been acting out at daycare. She was putting him to bed and talking to him about it. This is what he said.
He told her he was being picked on by one girl at his daycare who didn’t want to play with him. The reason? His skin was too dark. When his mom pressed him further, he told her he wanted God to make him a different color, or not exist and be remade as a different boy, one with lighter skin.
Let that information sink in for a minute. After you’ve finished yelling, crying or what have you, think about this. Those kids learned that behavior from someone. Would they care if their classmate’s skin was different from their own? Possibly, but not likely.
What really hurts me is neither scenario is good. This kid is 4, not 14, not 40, just 4 years old. He told his mom he doesn’t want to exist anymore. He told her he wants to be white so someone will play with him, or at least not pick on him. Sorry I forgot to mention earlier the girl and her friends have been doing this every day for quite awhile now.
Either way it’s really sad. I’m not a mom but I get that little kids don’t talk like us. He may not mean he wants to die, he could be being practical. In his mind God is in charge, so he can fix things. He doesn’t know that it’s not that simple. He doesn’t get that you can never change your skin color. He doesn’t understand that what you look like makes a total stranger judge your worth. Is it fair, or right? No of course not. But that’s something we can change.
I’m sure you have excuses, trust me, I did too. But I’ve finally decided to stop making them. Yes, I’m just a girl (well young woman) with a blog, but that’s ok. As long as you have a forum of some kind you can do something. If you have any kind of following or captive audience you can make your voice heard. Usually this is where I’d say you may have a different opinion than I do. But in this case I think we can all agree no one should be made to feel less than human. People are able to destroy their self esteem all on their own, they don’t need help. Stuff like this sucks for adults and kids alike. No one should be told they don’t matter because of the color of their skin. I could insert any number of terms in that sentence and it would still be wrong.
So what’s the morale of this overly long rant? Two things, if you want to make your voice heard, you’ll find a way. Whether it’s a blog, a letter to the editor or speaking at a rally speak up. I’m an introvert at heart (which is why this isn’t a video on Youtube) and I’m usually not one to talk in a public setting. But I do have a blog and I’m going to use it. I’ll say the few times I have spoken in public without planning to, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the response. You never know,you might be too.
The other thing is that if you’re not feeling brave, or just don’t know where to begin, start small. Talk with your friends or family about how you feel. Find an issue you’re passionate about and volunteer with an organization that shares that passion. Show someone a kindness. Give that homeless guy a quarter, help someone with their groceries, or even pay for the person in front of you at the coffee shop.
Seeing the devastation from Hurricane Harvey and it’s aftermath I feel like there’s still hope for humanity. Total strangers are willing to take their boats out to rescue someone who is trapped by rising flood waters. Sadly, reading about stuff like what happened in that article makes me hate humanity. I guess it’s the stuff in between that keeps me afloat. They say don’t sweat the small stuff, but it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.
Here’s a link to the article I’ve been ranting about. If it doesn’t work please let me know so I can fix it.