I sat down with my son so that he could create a Christmas Card for a friend who works at the Y. Our friend is a older black man that my boy just adores and get excited about seeing every time we head down there. We bought him a Christmas gift and planned on heading down today with the gift and the homemade card to say “Merry Christmas”.
So, my son is sitting at the kitchen table diligently creating a card from scratch any my wife starts giving it an odd look. I notice her confusion so I lean over. We look at each other and she asks, “Hey, is your friend a black guy?” Yes. “Oh, is he a large man” No. “Well…maybe you should get your boy to make a new card coz I don’t think you’ll want to deliver this card to him.”
Here is my son’s creativity in its fullest form. He was so focused on getting the right skin colour, eye colour and reflecting that my friend often wears darker clothing and his larger than my son. This was the result. I do not feel comfortable delivering this card.
In the following 20 minutes I attempted to communicate to my boy about racism, impressions, “blackface” and he just cried and cried about how I didn’t like his card. This was very difficult to navigate.
He ended up making a new card – about 40 minutes later – and we missed our friend at the Y when we delivered it. The new card was much more appropriate!!