(They were playing Barbies, and she noticed a black Barbie that Muffin had stored in the corner, saving it for Zahra.)
|Showing enough cleavage? Wardrobe malfunction. I'm not a huge Barbie fan... But I finally gave in when Muffin was 7. After all, I played with them as a child... and it didn't do that much damage!|
Girl: "Can we open that?"
Muffin: "No, we are saving it."
Muffin: "Because it's for Zahra."
Girl: "She's an ugly Barbie."
Muffin: "Why do you think it's ugly?"
Girl: "Because she's black."
Girl: "Wait. Is Zahra gonna be black?"
Muffin: "Yes, she's African."
End of conversation.
I am new to this journey, and learning my way through it. I don't have all the answers. Together Muffin and I spoke about why she may have said this, and what responses she could have given. We decided that the one she felt most comfortable with is asking her why she thinks black is ugly, and then following up by leading as an example and saying that she thinks people of all colour are beautiful.
What is the response that came to my mind first? "How would you feel if someone told you that you were ugly because you are white?"
This is what would have come out of my mouth... yup. I realize this is a hostile response, and perhaps not the best. At least, Muffin didn't think it was very nice.
As time goes on, I am sure we will get better at developing appropriate responses. I don't want them to feel like they are full time advocates, guardians, or teachers, but I do want them to learn how to respond in these situations to encourage the other person to think and feel... hopefully to eliminate any further inappropriate comments.
This is the beginning of a learning process for our children.
By affiliation, they will be witness to how cruel people can be.
They wouldn't otherwise have any idea how intolerant people can be, or the prejudices that exist.
Their white privilege would have protected them from all that.
I am happy that they will have this insight.
I am sad that they will have to feel hurt, and disappointment from people they care about.
I am sad that it will cause them distress to know that others may think less of their baby sister because of her skin colour.
But, I couldn't ask for any more loving, caring, understanding children for Zahra to look up to as her older siblings.