Assumptions Left Unchallenged

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

July 31, 2013

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I’m feeling awkward writing this. But I want this to be acknowledged as the other part of the race card. So, bear with me as I reiterate a recent event.

She accused him of being a racist and raising racists.

I know these people. They are raising their children to be kind, compassionate, open, forgiving, honest, respectful. They are not raising their children to be racists. In fact, color of one’s skin never plays into a conversation.

Let’s step away from my friends for a moment and consider an average child’s normal behavior, with my own son, a six-year-old as our example. Occasionally, he lies. It’s very interesting to see this tactic develop. Currently, thankfully, he’s not very good at it. He smiles, smirks, gets bashful, and when I call him out on the fallacy, he might admit that it was an untruth. Sometimes, he tells stories, and he doesn’t think of it as lying – and he gets really defensive, more like angry defensive, trying to defend his honor in the story he is trying to knit together. But he never, ever cries when accused.

My friends’ sons are kind of like my son in that way – very sensitive, and if they did try to lie, it would be very obvious to spot.

She accused him of being a racist and of raising a racist. She believed her daughter, and according to another son, had really told the lie.

It was bewildering to watch, and I refrained from saying anything because I couldn’t figure out how to quell the situation. He handled it fine. He defended his children, and opted with, “They will not play with your daughter.”

It was clear to me who was telling the truth and who was not. His children were telling the truth. His child, whose honor was defamed in front of his entire family, he was called a liar, he was sobbing, so sad, and not sure what to do with this adult who called him a liar. His parents told him lying is bad – and he doesn’t, and now he is being unfairly accused of lying.

She was parroting what her daughter said. Her daughter, it seems, knew how to get her mother riled up – play the race card and mommy will defend me. And mommy did. Damn the white man and his white sons for playing a game! They are the ones who turned it into a racist thing, not the beautiful, lovely daughter who was likely clamoring for mommy’s attention.

I wrote the other day about me owning my own fears, about me trying to recognize where I make false assumptions in the face of logic. This mother immediately defended her daughter’s honor, while challenging my friend to not trust his own child. She refused to see the irony in her own racism – quickly blaming the white man for raising a racist while refusing to accept that she’s raising one herself.

In order to stop this madness, we all must stop. We all must check our assumptions at the door. We all must stop, breathe, and let logic persuade. If, that is, we really want to move past racism. It’s not all the white man. It’s not all the black man. It’s all of us, together, in it to raise our children to be brighter, smarter, and more inclusive than we are. So, together, we can all find solutions to the world’s problems.

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