Monday, January 16, 2012

My Kind of Crayons

Long before I knew that I would be the mother of two African children, probably before I was truly aware of the racism in our world, before demolishing stereotypes and prejudices were social justice issues on my radar, I heard the song Carefully Taught.  I'm a huge fan of musicals, and this song happens to be from one entitled South Pacific.  The words and melody struck an immediate cord within, and I often quote the song in conversation, when I'm sharing "our story," or in presenting Transracial Family seminars. 

I love watching small children play.  I won't say that they are color blind, nor would I want them to be.  However, young ones have not yet learned the world's harsh stereotypes attributed to and opinions held thereof in regards to people of various shades of skin.  Therefore, they are eager and open to embracing all playmates.  It's a beautiful thing... a glimpse of heaven, I believe.  As the song says, it seems at 6, 7, or 8 - children do begin to receive an education.  Unfortunately, an oftentimes skewed, incorrect, outrageous series of lessons.  I pray that we will all be mindful and carefully teach God's love for all His children to the precious little ones in our circles of influence.  

Carefully Taught
You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!

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