Children Are Not Props

Black baby White Kids

Last week I was on Guerrilla Feminism with a piece I wrote titled “No One Cares About Your Black Baby Doll” which was written in response to all of the people who were sharing heartwarming stories about their beloved brown toys in response to an incredibly racist viral video. What wasn’t covered but I would like to add: No One Cares That You Gave Your Kid a Brown Baby Doll.

In response to the aforementioned video, there were videos made in which families filmed their children receiving brown baby dolls which their child graciously accepted.

Awesome, you’re one step closer to possible not raising a shit human being. That’s great. But showing videos of this action isn’t exactly a proper response either. In fact it’s problematic for the same reasons that telling stories about your brown baby doll is.

Again, it is focusing the conversation on whiteness and what a good white person you are. It’s not saying that crying when you receive a black baby doll is racist and an issue, it’s saying “This is how good white people react to this issue.”

That’s not solving the problem. It’s not even helping the problem. It’s only helping you be seen as a better person. And raising children who will go on to tell stories about the time they got a brown baby as a gift played with it.

Here’s an idea, stop treating those moments in which you were not racist as special or upstanding moments. Don’t teach your children that these moments are special or different. Act as if they are normal and not deserving of any praise or notoriety.

Because they should be normal.

You shouldn’t expect accolades for being a decent human being. They shouldn’t be any more memorable for you. They are just moments. Continuing to treat them as these special snowflake points in history is actually just fetishizing Blackness and that’s pretty terrible to.

So stop it. Don’t tell anymore stories, don’t post anymore videos. Sit down and start taking stock of what things you are doing every day that may be encouraging anti-Black feelings in your children. How you may be encouraging anti-Black attitudes.

If you’re encouraging a multicultural view of the world with your kids, great, awesome, keep on keeping on but if you’re not and you’d like to, take stock and make some changes. But keep your small moments of triumph against the racist society that we live in to yourself.

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