Newsgroups: alt.foot.fat-free,alt.slack

Subject: Pinking King

From: (MegaLiz)

Date: Tue, 03 Feb 1998 19:31:21 GMT


Sparky, our number one pupa, doesn't know anything about racial

strife. The public schools are going to fix that. I swear, these days,

the road to racism is paved with goodie-goodie intentions.


With children in general, and yeti chillun in particular, it is always

important to caution them in the most general or confusing ways. For

instance, when teaching them about how to bathe safely, I would never

warn, "Don't throw a toaster or a hairdryer in the bathtub!" because

that GUARANTEES an immediate appliance hunt and subsequent

electrocution. Amazingly, very few parents have learned through their

repeated mistakes that this sort of admonition is REALLY STOOPID.


People who like to make money watching other people do things in

artificial environments have studied this very thing and found that

not only will children do THE THING WHICH THEY HAVE BEEN WARNED



This is exactly why I do not explain the GFCI outlets in the bathroom

in any accurate detail. They just do not need to know this stuff

beyond the basic principle that electricity and water don't mix unless

you want coffee. In this way, I can still enjoy a nice tub bath in

safety and STILL maintain my credibility for another year or so.


Now about racism, I have a similar approach. I do not tell long

stories about antebellum slavery to lull them to sleep at night. Not

that the library doesn't provide EVERY opportunity to teach pliable

little fact vacuums all about it--they have all that covered right

along with such anxiety-causing titles as "E is for the Extinctions

You Are Causing" and "Let's Count the Ozone Holes!"


Sparky has never shown any curiosity about skin color, except to wish

fervently for her own cornrows on occasion. She wanted to wear scads

of "doo-dads" in her hair like her friends, but eventually accepted

the idea that her hair wasn't happy to be nappy.


Her elementary school is going to make sure that her benign ignorance

is rooted out right along with the ignorance that really IS their

business. They are introducing the concepts of racism right along side

reading and the other Rs.


To celebrate her African heritage on Martin Luther King Day and to

"integrate and culminate the reading drive" the school had an assembly

for the children to listen to an African Reader read something. Sparky

dutifully reported on the highlights. The African Man said that

Africans speak two thousand languages. The African Man also said that

if you read about your ancestors and say some magic words you can fly.


Sparky was VERY anxious to read about her ancestors. I pointed out

that he may not have been speaking LITERALLY, but she just insisted

that if he didn't mean "fly" he wouldn't have said "fly".


So we started looking at pictures of her ancestors. The ancestors that

I had handy were featured in photos from World War II. I pointed out

Uncle Bud, "HE could fly. But that's because he studied to be a PILOT

and somebody gave him a PLANE because he did all his homework." She

maintained a polite interest and promised not to try to fly until all

her homework was done.


Later, I found some of her school work that ALSO honored Dr. King.

They had the MLK Find-a-Word (can you find "brutal murder"?) and the

MLK Had A Dream Puzzle and the MLK Connect-The-Dots. She'd dutifully

colored King's dot portrait with blue eyes and bright pink skin.


I just love it that she STILL doesn't get it.




Bobo: "GWICK! Em beh-BWAH-DA!"

Translation: My! That was unpleasant! Please help me keep the

spoon away from the back of my throat next time!

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