Two years ago, I invoked lessons from Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who to talk about about the lack of action regarding gun control and mass shootings. But it applies to what’s going on now as well. Not enough of us have raised our voices against racism in this country. We need more noise. Like the civilization on that tiny speck of clover in the story, there can be no shirkers if we’re going to survive.
If we blissfully thought in the past that being non-racist was enough, we must now realize that it’s grossly insufficient. Too many old, hateful ideologies still exist and are still being taught to young minds that would otherwise be full of love. Those of us who know this must proclaim it to the mountains: Being silently non-racist is not enough. We need to be loudly anti-racist — no matter who it means calling out.
In my house, our children have long been taught that skin color is nothing more than another physical characteristic — like hair color, eye color, or height. It is not important. That seemed to be a fine thing for non-racist parents to teach. But it’s not. It’s too easy. There is also a history … a context … and a deep, profound pain … that should not be swept under the rug because of how uncomfortable, how shameful, it is.
In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama mentions her parents’ wise words on the importance of context. “Everyone on earth, they’d tell us, was carrying around an unseen history. And that alone deserved some tolerance.”
That alone. Before even lifting the cover.
To get through this once and for all, we need to recognize the past for what it was, take responsibility as a society, and move on with the hope for a beautiful, vibrantly colorblind future.
Then maybe we’ll finally get our “Yopp!”
Read the 2018 post and more relevant lessons from Dr. Seuss here: https://laurakenyon.com/2018/03/02/timeless-lessons-from-dr-seuss/