Wednesday, January 04, 2006

My little racist

I was watching a golf tournament a while back (I have already admitted to being a golf nut) with Kiddo.

She says, "Daddy, why is Tiger Woods' skin brown?"

All right, here we go. Time to start in with the racial equality thing. Time to be Super Dad and give a life lesson to a wide-eyed 4 year old. Big responsibility here. Don't blow it.

"Well, honey, everyone has different color skin. Some are lighter and some are darker, just like some people have blonde hair and some people have red hair and some people have black hair."

That seemed to satisfy her.

Then a few minutes later:
"What's his name, Daddy?"
"His name is Vijay Singh."
"His skin is so dark it's black!"

Uh oh. She said "black." Isn't that wrong? Should I say something? Is it time to introduce 'African-American' into her lexicon? Wait, Vijay Singh isn't African-American, he's from Fiji. Is he a citizen now? Do I need to teach her the term Fijian-American? And Tiger Woods is half Thai. Should she learn that he's 'Afri-Thai-ican?" What to do, what to do?

"Yeah, honey, he is really dark. Like I said earlier, everyone has different color skin."

"Look, Daddy, it's Phil Mickelson! I'm not going to cheer for Tiger Woods or Vijay Singh, I'm going to cheer for Phil Mickelson!"

Oh my, oh my, oh my. Where did I go wrong? Why does she already hate black people? Did she pick something up from her mom's family? Is it just natural to gravitate toward people who are similar to us? Did I somehow do or say something to turn my beautiful little girl into a hateful racist? What to do, what to do?

"Why do you want to cheer for him?"

"Because his name sounds like Phil Pickle-son."

Whew.

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