If Children are Our Future and Racism Continues, The World is Doomed
Creating a Level Playground for All People
Parents want the best for their children. From the moment a baby is born planning begins. In truth, for many preparations commence the minute they realize a new life lives within them. Mothers modify their diets; I knew a father who bought a crib the day he found out his wife was pregnant. We can all agree it is a special time.
Now, imagine you discover you child will face challenges. At first fear seizes you and questions arise requiring to be address.
- Will my child be accepted by peers?
- Will life provide equal opportunities?
- Can the world accommodate individual differences?
- Can a child flourish in a world of injustice?
- How will challenges influence the child's character?
In truth, all parents confront these questions at some point when raising children, to different degrees because all children face challenges. The success of a child with diversities depends upon many factors ranging from the child's mental acuity, emotional stability, physical strength, and the support provided by the community.
Experience teaches that differences only hinder a person when their differences are perceived as disabilities.
John Nash, the inspiration for the movie A Beautiful Mind, lived with acute paranoid schizophrenia. He found success that earned him the Nobel Prize in Economics.
Nick Vujicic, who was born with out limbs, lived through depression associated with discrimination to become a motivational speaker and writer.
Constance Baker Motley, born a black woman in the 1950s, lived with discrimination and segregation to become the first black woman to be appointed a federal judge.
We acknowledge that inspired people with support, encouragement, and ambition can create a world that matches the images of their dreams.
Parents Concerns Legitimized
However, that does not negate the anxiety a parent endures each time their child confronts a new challenge. It also does not address the facts that some children are simply treated differently because they view the world through unique lenses, live in bodies that do not conform to the norm, interacts emotionally in unconventional manners, or have different colored skin.
Research shows that dark skinned children encounter increased prejudices and are treated differently simply based upon their appearance.
"A new Stanford study found that the race and ethnicity of infants can affect the quality of care they receive in California's neonatal intensive care units. Black people simply are not receiving the same quality of health care that their white counterparts receive." Stanford Medicine News Center.
"According to 2013–14 data collected by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, black K–12 students are 3.8 times as likely as their white peers to receive one or more out-of-school suspensions. Students who are suspended are more likely to drop out of school and have run-ins with the juvenile justice system, a pattern so well documented in the literature that it has earned its own dubious moniker - the '"school-to-prison pipeline.'" Department of Education: Civil Rights Data Collection
"Teachers might be less likely to spot black students who excel academically, for instance. Using national data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Sean Nicholson-Crotty, PhD, at Indiana University, and colleagues found black students were 54 percent less likely than white students to be recommended for gifted-education programs, after adjusting for factors such as students' standardized test scores. But black students were three times more likely to be referred for the programs if their teacher was black rather than white." Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 2016).
These two beautiful girls are twins named Isabella and Gabriella. They were born to an African American couple. If research of the past predicts the future, haunting questions call for answers about how the babies will be received in society as they grow. For now, their differences shine a positive light, forcing them to celebrity status. But if history repeats itself, one stands a better chance of success.
Children deserve to walk on a level playing field where everyone can win based upon work ethic, attitude, ambition, and fortitude. The world will never be able to justify allowing judgments that affect a person's life to be made based on skin color.
Yes, all parents hope their children gain equal opportunities as they grow and mature. However, facts slap us with reality.
Children's Lives Matter.
If they are our future, it is in our best interest to create a world where all youth are provided equal opportunities to reach their potential. In so doing, we are ensuring the stability of our world, promoting peace, and establishing harmony now and for years to come.