I recently read a story about how some cashier at Target tried to convince a little girl to buy a doll that “looked more like her.”
The post began a tirade about all that was wrong with this scenario.
The honest truth is that kids don’t really care about skin tone. One of Jasper’s favorite books is called “When the Snow Comes.” His favorite thing to do with any book like this is to go through and name the kids in the pictures, identifying each as one of his friends.
“Here is Jacqueline, this one is Gianna, here is Porter (the dog) and look, there’s me!” he exclaims.
The kid that he picked to be himself is the only black kid in the book, and is the one wearing glasses. Jasper doesn’t even closely resemble the picture, but the actions of the little boy in the book mirror his own.
“Jasper” is horrified at the misbehaving dog, and gives hugs to “Jaxson” when he is feeling sad.
(By the way, in real life, “Jaxson” is a mixed race kid- in the book, he is the blonde haired kid who is last to put on his boots.)
It is interesting about what does shape Jasper’s self identity.
-He loves animals. Wherever we are, he loves petting them and has little to no fear of them. (Except the cow with the giant tongue at Davis Farm.)
-He is enthusiastic… about everything.
-He is empathetic- especially for a four year-old
-He lives on our Cul de Sac
There’s usually some notes about Batman thrown in there, too, if you ask him. Jasper knows some important things about himself, like how he is four, but he has no idea what color eyes or hair he has. He doesn’t spend hours in the mirror, and he doesn’t know much about politics or our family’s ancestry. He just knows that his name is Jasper, he lives in Westborough and we drive the Batmobile.
Racism is something that is taught.