The other day, the kids were playing with the Playmobil jail. They enacted a robbery of a jewelry store. The police caught the robber and put her in jail. (She escaped, of course.)
All was well and good until I noticed that they had picked the black playmobil person to be the robber. I called husband D over - horrified. "Where did we go wrong,?" I asked. We send our kids to a school where whites are a minority. We are on our third "little sister" and all of them have been African American. We are an equal opportunity household in every way possible. (to the best of our ability.)
Was it because we moved to a neighborhood with a country club? Was it because our neighbors are all white? What did we do wrong?
Then, yesterday, Daughter D. asked me a question about race and perception. (Really, she did. It was almost like she was scripting a segue for me...) I brought up the Playmobil incident and asked why they thought that they had chosen the black playmobil for the robber.
The kids answered in tandem:
"We didn't chose the black playmobil, mama, we chose the one with the most jewelry. She had earrings and a necklace and a bracelet too. None of the others had jewelry. Since she robbed the jewelry store, she had to have jewelry."
Sure enough. She does have a lot of jewelry.
Maybe I've just been reading too much about the Jena Six - a truly sad and tragic case, from all sides.