The Race Card & Trayvon Martin: Can We Even Start to Explain it to Our Kids?

Wed, March 28, 2012

Making Our Political Voices Heard

Image by Joanne Bamberger. All rights reserved. cc


I’m certainly not the first to weigh in on the Trayvon Martin tragedy and the question of how to talk about his killing, as well as the issue of race, with our kids. But as a white mother of an Asian daughter, I’m still struggling with exactly how to explain to her not only the horrible story itself, but also the reality of how the world is for me and how it will be for her.

Yes, I’m white. And I know that carries with it the whole “white privilege” thing. And, yes, my husband and I have had many talks with our daughter, who is now a middle-schooler, about issues surrounding race in this country. She’s learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. We recently took her to see the MLK Memorial in Washington, D.C. We’ve talked about why it’s there and why it’s important for it to be there. We read all the inscriptions on the wall that runs along the perimeter of the magnificent statue of the civil rights leader.

But how can you explain things that are as horrendous as Trayvon Martin’s murder in a way that a child of any age will understand? Read more about my struggle with this issue here …..

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3 Responses to “The Race Card & Trayvon Martin: Can We Even Start to Explain it to Our Kids?”

  1. Sleeping Mom Says:

    This is what I love about living where I do—we get such a variety of ethnicities that I’m hoping children aren’t singled out as often as other areas where there’s a predominant race.

    My two-year-old is biracial and my husband and I are both non-white. For my toddler, I plan to immerse him in both cultures so that he is proud to be part of those two races. We’re also not big on TV and media which tend to feed stereotypes at even this age.

    I also think kids could benefit from empathy. When we teach them how others might feel, it’ll open up their hearts to those who are subjected to bullying or hate crimes.

    So even though I can’t shield him from everything, I’m going to minimize the negatives in his life and instead surround him with things he could be proud of.

  2. PunditMom Says:

    The funny thing is that we do live an in area with many ethnicities, but our neighborhood isn’t so much. We have done much to keep our daughter connected to her birth culture, but as we are now in the tween years, it is inevitable that we as parents have less influence, and her interests are more “traditional” for an Americans — soccer, Wii, movies. Not that any of that is bad, per se.

  3. Corey Feldman Says:

    There are just so many conversations I never want to have with my kids, yet I know with each passing year they are inevitable.

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