On August 11, White nationalists marched on the campus of the University of Virginia in protest of the removal of a Confederate statue of Robert E. Lee. This led to violence and the death of a young woman and also a resurgence of discussing race relations in the United States.
Some people say that “racism doesn’t exists anymore” or “All Lives Matter” however continued evidence is provided to show that this is a myth. Segregation is technically over however our society continues to have overt and covert examples of discrimination and racism. I have recently witnessed some disturbing comments and views from people who are therapists about race, racism and discrimination which has shown me that we have a very long way to go. For most parents in particular Black parents, this brings concerns about the safety of their family and when should they have a conversation about racial differences and discrimination..
For most parents of color, talking about race is a natural progression of being a parent in America. These conversations are often difficult for both the parent and the child. It’s important to discuss the differences in racial identity with your children and do not fall into the belief that “we don’t see color ” or “we’re all the same”. These statements are not helpful or factual. We all see color and we’re not all the same. It’s important for parents to discuss with their children that they need to treat others with respect and also explain to their children about racism and discrimination. Parents of color should also discuss with their children how to react in racist situations or when confronted with micro aggressions. Speaking about race with our children has many positive effects such as children are more respectful of other racial and ethnic groups and they will recognize and respond to racism and discrimination. When talking to your children, it’s important to recognize your own views on racial issues and also be ready to manage your emotions in order to help your child. It is also helpful to share your experiences with racial discrimination and prejudice. While this is a difficult topic, it is very important that we discuss it with our children.