Danielle learns the effect of language.

Danielle learns the effect of language. 

When Danielle was in second grade, we lived in Raleigh, NC. The Wake County schools were pretty good and definitely above the state wide norm. There were several Universities and colleges in the area including North Carolina State. Probably the only county with better schools was Chatham where the University of North Carolina was located. Of course, Durham County was good as well, due to Duke University. These three counties surrounded Research Triangle park where a high number of people worked at white collar jobs. All in all, the area was affluent enough that the people supported a good quality education. 

In her school, up to 4th grade, all classrooms had a state certified teacher and an aide who was also generally state certified as a teacher. Danielle had Mrs. Parham for a teacher and Mrs. Almond as an aide. They were both excellent teachers and both showed that they truly loved both teaching and the children. 

One night at dinner, Danielle started a conversation with "Dad, do you know my black aide, Mrs. Almond?"  Seeing a teachable moment, I asked in return; "Why did you describe Mrs. Almond"?  Danielle was puzzled by my response and didn't know how to answer me. She didn't realize that she had done a description. So, I followed with, "Danielle, have I met Mrs. Almond?"  She replied "yes" to which I added "then, I didn't need a description". 

Since she was still confused, after all she was only eight and saw no real racist intent in her comment. So, I asked, "Why do you never say, 'Dad, do you know my white teacher, Mrs. Parham?'". I saw the light bulb turn on and to this day, she has been as color blind as I could have asked for. 

Her mother and I may have made some mistakes in our children's upbringing, but demonstrating acceptance of all people was one of our successes. 

Davdan @ 2008-2018