How Do You Explain?

Last night Joe and I were talking to Sai. We were trying to explain to him how Obama’s inauguration is historic. So how do you explain to a kid who doesn’t see skin color how this is something new and important? Since my husband and I are an interracial couple my kids are surrounded by people of different skin colors. To them it makes no difference. They just see Grandpa and Grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins, and school mates. 

So I’m afraid I did a poor job of explaining it. I said something like look at my skin, people call it white. Look at your skin, people call it brown. Look at Obama’s skin, people call it black. Obama is the first president that isn’t “white”. And then Sai pointed to the picture on the front of the news paper, pointed out Bush and said “He’s white.”

Great. Now I’ve put this notion of skin color into my kids head! ARGH!!

“Seeing” different skin colors isn’t bad. Unless you put the notion that a certain color is less than another color. Right? So help me! How do I explain this to a six-year-old and a three-year-old? I want them to grow up seeing people, not skin. And knowing that they can be whatever they want to be.

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1 Response to “How Do You Explain?”


  1. 1 kat January 22, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    amazing. My husband and I just had this conversation with our six year old…and just like your boys, my son doesn’t see colour or race. He just doesn’t get that people are different or viewed differently. And after we spoke to him, I started to think that maybe making a big deal out of the whole, “first black president” wasn’t really necessary…Not that I want to discount the past, or what is happening now… but
    I mean, isn’t it wonderful that my son doesn’t view people like that? Isn’t it enough to say, finally, a great man was elected president?

    Really, it’s an interesting discussion to have – huh?


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