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Challenge: Open Discussion

What do our children see?

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Hi. My name is Marley. ⁣

I love ice pops, swimming and playing with my friends. ⁣
Batman is my favorite superhero. I talk about Batman all the time.⁣

I want to fight crime. I want to take down the bad guys. ⁣
You know there are police officers that do that each day? ⁣
⁣They are the good guys. Like Batman, they chase down the bad guys.⁣
I once heard a story where a police officer saved a baby from choking! Talk about awesome!⁣⁣
I have a police officer costume, and sometimes I wear it and pretend to arrest my sister for not being kind to me.⁣

I snuck up on my mom as she watched television recently. She didn't know I was there. I'm like Batman, remember? I'm pretty sneaky. ⁣
I watched on T.V. as some police officers did not help a man that needed help. I was scared because the man that needed help reminded me of my dad a little bit.⁣

I heard the man ask for help and say he could not breathe, but I did not see anyone help him. I saw a police officer hurting him, and I was confused. I thought the police were supposed to help someone when they said they needed help? ⁣

After that, I saw people throwing things through the store windows and fires. It was scary. That is when my mom caught me.⁣

She said, "Marley, what are you doing here?" She turned the T.V. off.⁣

I asked her, "Mama, was the man, OK? Why are there fires? Is everything OK?"⁣

My Mama tried to tell me as best as she could, but my eyes already saw what they saw.⁣

My Mama told me that sometimes, the people that are supposed to protect us, fail us. Sometimes they dress in superhero clothes, but they are not superheroes. I am still learning this lesson. ⁣

Did I tell you that my mom is white and my dad is black? I never really noticed this before until other people pointed it out to me.⁣

I have seen people look at us funny sometimes when we are together, and I don't understand why?⁣

Sometimes my mom gets scared when my dad leaves the house that he won't come home safely.⁣
I've heard her say that it is because my dad is black.⁣

I don't understand why, because I like the color black. Don't you? ⁣
I like to paint in all colors. ⁣

I really don't see a difference between my mom's color and my dad's color. They are just my mom and dad.⁣
⁣My mom is sweet and funny. My dad is strong and works hard. ⁣

Some people tell me I am the perfect mix of white and black. I'm just me, I say. I don't really pay attention to the color of my skin or the color of my friend's skin.⁣

I still believe in the good guy. I told my mom that I still want to fight crime like Batman.⁣

I believe in the police officer that runs towards the chaos to rescue people. I like those police officers. Maybe I can be like them when I grow up.⁣

When I see the other police officers that do bad things, it confuses me. I don't understand why a superhero would suddenly turn bad. ⁣

Maybe they weren't a superhero all along? Perhaps they wore the costume, but they were fake! That must be it! ⁣

My mom tells me that the color of my skin doesn't matter, but from what I saw on the T.V., I guess it does. What do you think?⁣

My name is Marley. ⁣

I am coming to learn that people will judge me based on my skin color. ⁣

I am coming to learn that people will judge me because my dad is black. ⁣

I am coming to learn that people will hurt me because I am different.⁣

My name is Marley, and I love Batman. I am still trying to understand this world. ⁣

My Mama tried to tell me as best as she could, but my eyes already saw what they saw.⁣

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Photo used and shared with permission by Rebecca Shines Photography

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