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Over at Babble, writer Erin K. Blakeley wonders about the role she may have played in her child’s “prejudice.”

When you are focused on the minutiae of raising a toddler — teaching him how to feed himself, or to play in a sandbox without mauling another child — it’s easy to forget they are becoming anything, much less a thinking, sentient being. But my son’s race problem has reminded me that his powers of perception, like those of all kids his age, are razor-sharp. Every day, the lens through which he sees the world is being crafted. So the question is, what does he see?

As parents, many of us tend to focus on what we want our kids to see and disregard what we are actually showing them. As in, “I want my kids to eat a healthy diet, and never mind the fact that they watch me skip breakfast, work out obsessively and complain about my figure.” Or, “I want my kids to be truthful and honest, and never mind the fact that I screen my calls, or encourage them to lie about liking a present they actually loathe.”

Or in my case, “I want my son to see that I have a library of books left over from my days as an African-American Studies major and a pictorial montage of him dressed in a series of Obama onesies and never mind the fact that I have no black friends, that we live in a neighborhood that is overwhelmingly white, and that the non-white people we meet are either delivering food, caring for other people’s children, or working behind a register.” Read more…

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About Tami

Tami Winfrey Harris writes about race, feminism, politics and pop culture at the blog What Tami Said. Her work has also appeared online at The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Ms. Magazine blog, Newsweek, Change.org, Huffington Post and Racialicious. She is a graduate of the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. She is mom to two awesome stepkids and spends her spare time researching her family history and cultivating a righteous 'fro.
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