Letters: On our way to equality?
Vail CO, Colorado
It seems so fitting that on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day I had my first discussion with my 7-year-old about race.
He didn’t understand why there is no school today, nor did he know who Martin Luther King was. I was caught off guard by the sudden reality that I was
going to have to explain that once upon a time in America we saw each other as only black or white.
It was an awkward conversation, but one I’ve never been more proud of having.
I asked him if he’s ever noticed that his skin is much lighter than some of his friends. He took a very long time to answer before he exclaimed, “yes, it is, but what does that have to do with not having school today?” I chuckled.
I went on to tell him about segregation, the spectrum of skin colors, MLK’s speech and what it meant, and finished by asking him what that means to him. He took a while again before saying, “People were stupid hundreds of years ago. friends are friends” To him, this must have been something that took place a long time ago rather than within the past 50 years.
Then it hit me. This boy and all the other children in this valley have no concept at all about prejudice or racial discrimination. What a wonderful thing! Maybe we really are well on our way to equality. Maybe things like affirmative action have run their course. Just thinking about it makes me smile.