When I watched a 52 second video of a couple of 5-year-old girls beating up a three-year-old my heart ached. Then my head exploded. The assault is a hate crime. Yeah, kindergartners are plenty old enough to hate. (I’d share the link, but the video has been taken off FB. I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, it’s hard to watch. On the other hand, if we can’t fix what we don’t see.)
Children being cruel. Deeply disturbing. Goes without saying. But please don’t rush to judgment. The little African American girls, and their older brother who is laughing and egging them on, are not “bad” children. They are simply responding to the lessons of parents’ who, by the way, aren’t “bad” either. Mom and Dad are doing what all parents do… trying to keep their children safe. Many black parents are doing their damnedest to protect their kids from whites who would hold them back, put them down, push them aside and do them harm. Why should we be surprised if they teach their children that white people are the “enemy?” That’s what you’re seeing here… young children fighting against the enemy as it has been defined for them.
If we are honest we can’t pretend to wonder how this came to be. After generations of systemic racism do white people expect people of color to view us as their friends? To the degree whites lump together all African Americans and continue to deny them opportunities to live in peace and prosperity, it’s reasonable to assume people of color lump together all whites.
Of course everyone should deplore the treatment of the little white girl in the video. But instead of getting caught up in righteous indignation, how about committing ourselves to changing an economic, educational, political and judicial system that is rigged against people of color? With equal opportunity there will be less hate all around.