Every night I tuck Niamh and Zoe into bed and sing their songs and give them kisses and we do a recap of the day and a preview of what we are doing tomorrow. Today *should* be a school day for Zoe and so she obviously questioned why she had off. What do I tell her? What do I tell my two girls that are growing up living ‘the dream’ and literally holding hands with kids of a variety of skin tones….
I ended up telling them that a long long time ago, things were different and Dr Martin Luther King was a man that choose to stand up for the fact that we are all equal. And he was killed for that opinion. Maybe because of the death, maybe because of the work, maybe because of a thousand million big and small variables things came around to where I think he would be pleased. I avidly avoid the ‘privilege’ argument and the ‘reverse racism’ and the entire situation with shooting first ask questions later because my privileged, blessed, lucky, northern, modern existence is as good as I can ask for. Skin color is about 10th on the list of descriptive criteria for my kids. (#1, by the way, is gender, #2 hair color, #3 do you like ponies etc).
They were very distressed that this was not always the way, but, as these things go, there was a leap of logic for Zoe who without skipping a beat, asked me to tell her the ‘story’ of the medicine poisoner again. Yes… occasionally I tell interesting crime or case law stories to them, they remember so much why not pack in a bit of case law. Anyway, they love the one about the attention seeking man who put poison in tylenol and then as a result we now have safety seals. I’m glad that both stories are equally historical for them, a problem that has been solved. I know that it isn’t solved as neatly as a safety seal is secure, but, every generation gets closer.