Monday, February 19, 2007

my bad

Remember my anti-racist parenting 101 post a while back? Well, I learned a lesson. When "Jay" started crying at the store last month, I thought he was crying because he was scared of the cashier who was black. Last week we went to the same store and our cashier was a white woman about my age. Again, I had to step closer to the credit card machine as she pushed the shopping cart behind the counter to get the groceries out of it, thus separating Jay, still in the cart, from me. And... Jay began to cry. The separation seemed too much and he was scared. The same exact scenario played itself out again today. Again, the cashier was a young white woman. So much for projecting racialized reasoning onto my son. Interesting the way my adult mind connected things like that. Shouldn't be so quick to judge. My bad.

- Tereza Topferova

1 comment:

Tereza said...

This comment was sent to me by my friend Rose in an email:

What an interesting situation. It must have been a surprise to discover an assumption like the one you made about why Jay was crying. Your posting made me think of something similar that happened to me. I found myself with some unreasonable, irrational, racist fear. I was taking the elevator, and an African-American man got on just as the doors were closing.

We were the only two on the elevator, and for a split second I remember a flash of a thought going through my head: "am I safe?" The thought went from my subconscious to my conscious quickly, and thankfully, I became aware of this though and then said to myself: "why in the world did I just think that?!"

"Where did that come from!?" I had no reason, of course, to fear that man.

Everything was fine. I was raised by two parents who taught me not to judge people. But still these irrational judgments/fears creep in.

- Rose