Post # 1
My husband and I live in a predominately white neighborhood (we are AA) and we have one 6 year old whom we have decided to send to private school. Our son is the only AA student in his entire school. It was that way in kindergarten, pre K and day care. It has never been an issue for us because it’s all that we know. Most of our friends our white, co workers and associates. The only time that my son is around a crowd when it is majority black people is when he is around family or at church.
So recently we enrolled him in summer camp, like we do every year, and there are 2 other little AA boys in camp with him. My husband said this too me in passing, and I remember thinking “oh, that’s nice”. So this weekend my son goes to my mom’s house. My sister was over with her 2 kids. Her kids are brought up very different from our son. They are exposed to a lot and they spend a lot of time in the city (we live near Chicago and they are on the west side a lot, around a lot of gang violence and other things). They do not go to school yet (they are only 4mths and 3 years old) and never any kids that are not AA. Her son can’t say his ABC’s but he can rap any Drake song front to back. This is not because of him being around AA kids, it’s because his parent are too lazy to enroll his butt in school.
Anyway, she was talking to my son and asked him how camp was and he said “it’s awesome, there are 2 boys there that look like me!” My sister for some reason got P’O’ed about this. She starts texting me saying I need to expose him to more kids like him, I’m sheltering him. That he talks “too white” he is going to be “too proper”. Now we agree, Our son should be able to relate to more kids, but why does skin color mean he can’t relate? He relates to kids that like basketball like him, spongebob, cars… or whatever!
My question to you bee’s is , would you place your child in a school if they would be the minority? Should we find a way to expose our son to more kids like him?
Post # 3
UGH, that’s so rude of your sister!!! I’m neither AA nor a parent, so my advice is probably worth exactly what you’re paying for it, but that said…
In general, I always think it’s good for kids to be exposed to as many different kinds of people as possible!
If your son is around a majority AA group at church, I don’t see why you’d need to go out of your way to socialize him around other AA kids. He’ll get to have both experiences, which will give him wonderful flexibility as he grows up.
Post # 4
I would enroll them in the best school I can find. I think the problem here is your sister, not you or your son. It sounds like he exposed to his family and church, which is the best example of how to behave, regardless of race. It sounds like you are doing a great job.
Post # 5
thank you! You try so hard to raise yourkids the right way, but when people, esp family, say that you are doing something wrogn it really messes you up.
Post # 6
Totally understand. If it makes you feel any better, I would guess your sister said that because she feels insecure about her own kids and worries they won’t be as well-educated as yours.
Post # 7
I think, from hearing stories from my non-white friends, that being the only person of your color in a situation is difficult. However, forcing diversity on kids is extremely difficult and may not work out well. Your son was excited that the kids looked like him — did he become friends with them as well? Maybe he was just commenting…
Skin color doesn’t mean he can’t relate, but he might be exposed to ignorant comments and opinions because of his skin color. I am a teacher and have worked in both suburban and urban school districts. In suburban districts, the black kids are always in regular classes, and I constantly hear comments about how “they can’t do this” or “they are just like that”. These things are said by the most well-meaning people, but they are just…so…ignorant!!! For example, a black girl was placed in life skills because she was struggling in school. So, instead of providing her with extra help, they stuck her in with the kids who color all day long. I am still mad about that!!! At another school, a high school, two of the black boys who came to me for help with college essays were super, super smart, and one told me that his mom had to almost sue the school to allow him in honors classes. So, if I were black and my children were black, I would be very concerned about the way in which people were treating them in school. I don’t know how if this helps at all!
Post # 8
thank you. i agree. I think my nephew might have some learning issues because he is barly talking.. but he can sing any rap song. It drives me nuts.
Also, we didnt enroll jaylin in private school because we dont want him around AA kids, we did it because the public school system is horrible. We sacraficed our honeymoon to make make sure we could pay his tuition this year.
Post # 9
Like PP, I’m neither AA or a parent…BUT – you should give your child the best that you can, and it sounds like you are, by putting him in a good school school, keeping him from gang life, keeping a young child away from rap (profanity, sexuality, etc).
You should privately talk to your sister and explain that using phrases like “talking white” only fuels stereotypes and makes everything harder for everyone in the long run.
Post # 10
YOUR child, YOUR choice. You’re doing what you feel is going to best prepare your child for a successful, independent, and productive adult life. Besides, what does she mean he talks “too white”- is she in some way indicating that a person of color can’t speak properly?!?! That’s asinine. She is being ridiculous.
Post # 11
thank you so much. I noticed how I was treated in the public school system when i was younger. I REFUSE to let my son go through that. People tend to think that all AA boys want to be rappers or play basketball. My son wants to be an accountant when he grows up.
As sad as it is, there is racism still very apparent esp in our schools. His school challenges him, and makes us as parents hold him accountable. I dont want him to just get by all of his life because people feel bad for him.
Post # 12
@MrsStrawberry24: I’m not sure how much my $0.02 count as I’m not a parent or AA. But growing up I was always in the minority (I’m Asian, growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood) and I think I came out okay. It was tough at times being clearly ‘different’ from all the others kids, but I quickly learned that the kids who cared weren’t worth my time and the ones who didn’t were the ones I wanted to keep as friends.
It’s sounds like you are doing a wonderful job already by investing in your son’s education. And like some other PPs mentioned, I totally agree, the issue is with your sister NOT your or your son.
Post # 13
I would enroll my child in a school knowing he would be the minority. My child went to nursery school with many children that would be considered an minority and he never saw them as being any different them him. I would assume the children your son goes to school see him as another little boy. Your sister is crazy saying he should act like a stereotype he clearly acts a certain way because that is the way you and your husband raised him. Is he happy? thats all that really matters in the grand scheme of things. Its nice for him to be aware of his culture and heritage but to say he is to proper and talks to white is silly.
Post # 14
I find it weird that she’s worried he would be ‘too proper’.
As someone who went to a high school in rural CA, surrounded by farming and universities, I was the minority. I loved it!! How else are we to experience other cultures?? It’s not like like we’re Angelina Jolie’s kids and travelling everywhere (lucky b*tches!). My best friends have all been asian, mexican or a mix between black and asian. I actually feel BAD for your sister and her children because she thinks this is an appropriate way to teach your children about the world.
Keep your kid where he is. It will be a great way for him to learn about other cultures.
Edit – I don’t know why I said HS. I lived there my entire life and all the schools were basically the same mix of kids/ethnicities. Maybe it just meant more to me once I realized how lucky I had it.
Post # 15
I don’t get the “talking white” thing… what does that mean? because he doesnt talk slang? That makes me so upset!
Post # 16
WTH??? Are we still living in the 60’s here? Sorry I get really upset by comments like that. I’m white but have lived in many places thanks to my dad being military. I went to HS that was 94% hispanic, 4% white, and 2% all other races. I dated mostly hispanics b/c of the numbers.
I have seen white kids that are druggies just as there are in other races. I think you guys are giving your kid a great education and other opportunites which is the most important thing in my book. By The Way, I would have no problem putting my kid in a school if they were the minority. I was actually planning to adopt outside of my race a few years ago…both times fell through. And yes, I heard many snarky comments about me raising a “different” child….love knows no color.