Unarmed black man begs for his life, died after being arrested

Discrimination based on skin colour, also known as colorism or shadeism, is a form of prejudice or discrimination in which people are treated differently based on the cultural meanings attached to skin colour. Unarmed black man begs for his life, died after being arrested.

Should we tell our children about it? How?

Those are among the many questions parents are asking after the recent death of George Floyd,

Here’s  Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor:

“Many white parents wonder whether to talk with their kids at all, while parents of color swallow their  grief and fear to have “the talk” once again. These deaths are part of a more complex story, one some parents have been telling for generations, and others have long felt they’ve had the luxury to ignore. But experts in child psychology and race-based stress say these conversations are essential for all parents to have, and they underscore that there are developmentally appropriate ways to talk to children of all ages about racism and police brutality” (USA Today, May 31, 2020).

Why is it important to talk with children about what happened to George Floyd and other incidents of police brutality or racism in the news?

According to Beverly Daniel Tatum: 

Even young children may see or hear about highly publicized incidents like the George Floyd case – perhaps overhearing the TV or the radio –  and may ask questions. Or if parents are upset by the news, the child may perceive the parent’s distress and ask why mom or dad is upset. In either case, an age-appropriate explanation is better than silence. Older children with Internet access may see online images on their own. Initiating an age-appropriate conversation can give children a helpful frame for understanding difficult realities. If parents are silent, children will draw their own often faulty conclusions about what is happening and why” (USA Today, May 31, 2020).

Discrimination based on skin colour happened all over the world. You’d be hard pushed to find someone who hasn’t been at the other end of discrimination at some point of their life.  We are all the same despite the colour of our skin. No matter what your social status is, or how powerful you feel you are, we are all equal. We came here by birth and will leave by death. 

Don’t let our children grow up to see all these nasty things. Change your mindset! Teach your kids that people are different, and different is good. Everyone deserves to be treated the same way.

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