Thursday, October 04, 2007

My daughter, the white kid.

Ruby is fascinated by race. Her brother has picked up the maltese/mexican pigment from Paula (what she calls her "chocolate good looks"), while Ruby has picked up my pale, sun burn-y type skin.

She's constantly prodding her brother, asking why his skin is so dark and hers is so light.

So we discuss the differences between people, how there lots of surface differences, but we all are people and blah.

Last night she asked me a mildly disturbing question: "Why do hip-hop people shoot other people?"

Me: "Who are hip-hop people?"

Ruby: "People on TV who do hip-hop, and have guns, and have skin like Owen's."

Me: "Uh, well, where did you see this?"

Ruby:"Last time I was at Grandma's, she fell asleep with the TV on and I watched a show where hip-hop people were getting chased by police and then arrested."

Oh dear.

So, after some discussion, I figured out that she was talking about gangbangers in particular, and not ALL people with skin like Owen's. Seems she inadvertantly watched COPS at grandma's.

So we talked some more about people are people and the sorts of things that make up Depeche Mode songs.

It was an odd discussion, but I've come to recognize that in no small way, parenthood is a series of odd discussions, ones that often leave you searching for words and force you to ask yourself how you really feel about stuff.

I wish I could say I came out of the conversation fully satisfied that I had help Ruby puzzle through a knotty issue, but I don't think I did.

I've been thinking about it most of the day, actually.

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Blogger ren.kat said...

I think kids are the best teachers of philosophy and ethics. I guess introspection isn't taught. And I guess introspection isn't always a great thing for deep thinkers. But there you have it.

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Scooter said...

I wish I had chocolate good looks. Warm and chocolatey or pale and pasty? Chocolatey wins every time.

12:23 PM  
Blogger ren.kat said...

re-reading, I remembered being about 8 and overhearing my cousin explaining to a playmate why her sister was black- "She's not black, she's just dirty". I wish I could say that, at that age, it angered me, but at the time it just puzzled me.

1:58 AM  
Blogger Pursey Tuttweiler said...

I would just get scientific and then move into sociological and then stereotypical natures of humans. Then I would explain how the media capitalizes on our most base fears and emotions to sell products, like soda, from huge corporations to addict us and make us slaves to the Corporatocracy. That should clear things up quite nicely.
Always start with the melatonin and migration when subjects of skin color start up. Basics. She needs to know the basics. Then she can start to weave. First the sheep, then the shears, then the spinning, then the dying, then the weaving. Weaving comes last, sometimes along with the bobbing.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Pursey Tuttweiler said...

I meant melanin, but she might as well learn about both.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Mammacita said...

it must be said that when I talk about "my chocolate good looks" it is done with *extreme sarcasm*, is usually told as part of my stand up routine at family holiday parties... it never fails to crack up my maltese grandfather.

now, go stop the kids from squirting water into each other's buttholes. What kind of parents are we?

8:48 PM  

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