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Black Survival in a White World PDF Print E-mail
Raising children of colour, as white parents has unique challenges. When your children are not with you they may experience discrimination and racism. Children can be cruel at school, at the playground or on the school bus. When your children are with you they will be treated as white. They need to understand that prejudice exists and they could be treated badly when they are not with you. Tell them racism is picking on someone because they come from a different country or have different skin colour and it is wrong.

Prepare your child for racism. The worst thing you can do is ignore racism and wait for your child to experience it own their own. Tell them racism is always wrong. It divides people up into groups based on skin colour or culture. When someone says you can’t play because your black, that’s like saying only the children with red t-shirts can play. This is silly, it is unfair, and it makes you feel sad. Kids need to know racism isn’t their fault. They need to know to talk to you about it, or if it happens at school to tell a teacher.

Tell your kids there are things they can do to stop racism:

  1. Tell an adult they trust
  2. Ignore it (sometimes when other kids find it doesn’t upset you they quit
  3. Stay calm, think carefully, sometimes its best to walk away.
  4. Practise what you will say to them.
  5. Talk about it to friends and parents. Talk about how it feels. Sometimes when friends understand how it feels they stop doing it.

Sometimes our children are so loved and accepted in our families that it is devastating for them to find out not everyone in the world is accepting. Adolescence is a turbulent time when identities are developing and not the time to discover racism. Prepare your child early in life.

As Teenagers your Children need to know:

  • If the police pull your car over, don’t make sudden moves, keep your hands on the car steering wheel and don’t get out of the car until told to do so. It is often better to say little or nothing at all. Don’t provoke the officer. There are some places you may visit, or holiday where police officers could have predetermined attitudes about blacks. Carry a photo of you and your white family in your wallet to ensure the police notice it when you reach for your driver’s license. This could be your ticket to “white privilege”.
  • If the red flashing lights of the police pull you over, ensure you are safe by turning on your flashers and slowly continuing to a well lit, less secluded spot. (Especially females)
  • Ask for the name and badge number of a police office if you think you were treated badly.
  • There are places in the world where police will shoot first and ask questions later.

Don’t carry large purses or back packs into stores. Staff may assume you are stealing.

You may be judged by what you are wearing. Be aware of messages your clothing sends.