Innocently Colourblind Kids

My kids are colourblind! I love that they can roam around innocently colourblind! Naively colourblind! The good thing is: most kids innocently walk the streets and go to school naturally living colourblind lives!

But children become teenagers who become adults....

Society claims to be colourblind. We now have a black president. We use politically correct language. We punish public figures who slip up and use racist terms. Yet, as we use the correct terminology, we lock up black and brown men at unprecedented rates for non-violent crimes. The war on drugs (especially marijuana) seems to target people of colour. When we look at poverty; all facts, figures and statistics show racism is alive and well in the "Land of the Free!"

Need I mention terrorism and all the stereotypes that accompany this word?

Stereotypes govern our modern day colourblind society! The media believes the hype, thrives off it and promotes major fear of "the other". Fear, a silent fear, an underground fear, a "hush hush" fear, a "behind closed doors" fear is the climate we live in!

Yet, my little girl and boy live in a very different climate. They see the colours, enjoy the colours, but do not fear the colours! Most little boys and girls are blessed with a remarkable gift; they simply walk around innocently colourblind by simply seeing every colour as beautiful and unique!

I recall a day our family walked down one block on Sheridan. It was early evening. On this short walk we passed or stopped to talk to a variety of society's seemingly scary characters; homeless folk scattered around waiting for their shelter to open, half-way house residents lingering outside smoking cigarettes, an Afro-American family full of boys playing with a basketball, some local hispanic and black gang members standing by the corner and a Muslim family wearing their religious garments.

This is a daily occurrence for us in Uptown. We live in a very colourful and eclectic neighborhood! Our children love the diversity, and have never been intimidated or scared by it. They are regularly greeted by "hi Cyrus, hey big guy" or "heya cutie pie", to which our children respond with their shy awkward smiles! This one of those days....

As we cross Leland, Cyrus suddenly shrieks in fear and hides behind my leg. He wants to run and hide. To my amusement, he was scared of the group of rich neighborhood condo-dwellers "positively loitering" on the corner. This means they quietly stand on the corner with their leased dogs. It is an attempt to send a message to the local gang bangers and homeless folk that they will not tolerate their loitering! Their purpose is take back the streets, to promote safety and eradicate fear. Yet, Cyrus has a phobia of small hyped up yapping dogs after one tried to jump into his stroller when he was younger. He felt traumatized by this group who had flooded the sidewalk that had more dogs than people.

As our family is maneuvering through this small mass of Starbucks drinking loiterers, one gentleman snarls at Cyrus wondering what his problem is! I explained to him that Cyrus felt unsafe and was terrified of all the dogs that occupied the corner. Annoyed by my response, he immediately turned his back on us.

I love the ironic nature of this story! I love how children teach us how inconsistent our ideologies can be! I love how innocent, children can be, teaching us the foolishness of prejudice. I love how children are not conditioned by preconceived ideas, by what the media and society portrays. I love how children can walk a single city block not consumed by thoughts of getting shot, robbed, slobbered on or blown up by the stereotypes that wander the same paths. I love that children react positively to the positive while backing away from the negative. I love that children simply walk and play. I love that children teach us invaluable lessons....

I love that Jesus told the children to come to him and told the adults to become like a child!

Thank you Cyrus
Thank you Muriwai
.....for always teaching me!
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