Monday, January 21, 2013
The Thin White Line
This is our family. Our family that will be working on Martin Luther King day - because it's one of those fake holidays according to the private sector. A day only honoured by banks, post offices, schools and preschools.
It's important though, Martin Luther King made huge strides for this country. He questioned a nation's rights and perceptions of equality. This was explained by Anna (7) to Lucy (4) tonight as we toweled off from the pool.
"Lucy, you'll learn this, probably in Kindergarten or 1st Grade, but I'll tell you now because it's something you need to know. Martin Luther King who also was called MLK was a really important man. A good guy. Before he came along people were told they could or could not do things just by the colour of their skin. They would take a look at your skin and tell you how it would be. A long time ago, before MLK if you had dark skin you didn't have any rights."
Lucy suspends her toweling and Anna continues.
"So, that means that before MLK we would have been OK. You, me, Mumma. We would have had rights because we have white skin. But not Dadda. He would have had to sit at the back of the bus, and he couldn't marry Mumma, because he has dark skin."
I think my Danish-German-American husband needs to slap on a little more sunscreen. My oldest daughter is the worst kind of pigment puritan.
For the record, LK's arse, which being an American arse has NEVER seen the sun, is so white it could give you snow-blindness. He spends almost every day working outside though, hence the tan. Plus it was 75º today, in January.
I love that the important message about racial inequality, drummed in to every Kindergartener is shown up for its compete arbitrariness when Mr. 1,000 years of rarified endogeny is questioned about excessive pigment by his daughter.
Thank you Mr MLK for all you have done for our family and for our country, for allowing me to sit at the front of the bus with my dark-skinned husband.