Go ahead, tell me the answer in the comments section?
If you don’t, I certainly want to know, “Why not?”
Tonight at my son’s game, I looked out on the field and found only one other black player. I then thought about my baseball years in the ’80s, where I played baseball for a predominately white high school. When I returned home with my friends, I heard, “Man, you playing that White sport?”
I wonder how many brothas switched to football or basketball at those moments?
Then I thought about how just being smart in school had kids saying, “Why you trying to act White?” Then all my life I’ve also heard, “What, you don’t eat ribs or fried chicken?”
Now of course I can start on the same stereotypes thrown my way from people who did not look like me at the aforementioned high school or the all-white church we attended for many years. I remember at one youth group outing at an amusement park, one of the leaders (no, not one of the other children mind you), threw out, “I didn’t know black people can get a tan!”
Yea, did I also mention we all don’t eat chicken or ribs as well?
But it wasn’t all that bad. For example, I was the top draft pick in gym class for basketball team all the time. They just couldn’t believe I couldn’t play! Seriously, after four years, you think they would have got it. Okay, truth be told, you know, it’s like dancing. Even my level 3 from Detroit was better than their level 3 in the ‘burbs, but still…
While I look back and laugh at some, I’ve been far more impacted reading the Facebook posts by many over the years, that indicate they haven’t given many stereotypes up. Now that I’m older, I understand that those stereotypes cost me money, time, get me pulled over by the police, etc.. Just as bad, those views have been handed down to and towards our children as well.
The Great Griot does a superb job breaking down stereotypes in the short video below. Take a moment and watch it with your kids please. Let it be a way to at least spark conversation, and ask them if they have any stereotypes against certain groups or have had people make comments about them as well.
Be warned, you may also get a, “Dad, you shouldn’t say that about people, that is stereotyping them!”
Mission accomplished if you do…