Recently, a parent at my son’s school approached me about speaking with my son regarding the belief of Santa Claus. It seems like my son had decided to share his thoughts with this other child and created hysteria. I’m exaggerating but this parent made it seem like my son proclaimed that he was the Messiah.
I admit that I missed my opportunity to tell the parent that we don’t teach our sons to believe in Santa Claus and that we want him to defend his truth. I did speak to my 7-year-old about being more tactful when speaking to his friends who do believe in Santa Claus.
I’ll be honest, there’s a part of me that doesn’t get why parents get so upset when another child dispels the truth about Santa Claus. I understand the desire to preserve a child’s innocence but black boys don’t always get the opportunity to be shielded from truth, racism, or violence.
Most black parents have to talk with their black sons at an early age to help them understand how to navigate the world as safely as possible. We have to remind our sons that they are being judged not by content of their character, but by the color of their skin. We teach them how to behave when being stopped by the police, we have to advocate for them in school as early as pre-school to ensure that they are not being stereotyped as aggressive or violent. We don’t allow our sons to play with toy guns or water guns in fear that police will shoot them for just being black.
Our black boys don’t have the luxury of believing in a jolly old white man who will bring them gifts when they don’t see average white men being so gracious and generous to black boys.
Believing in Santa Claus does not stop police for shooting unarmed black men, it does not stop white people from calling the police on black people, it does not bring black boys hope for their future.
If we’re going to give our sons something to believe in, let them believe in their ability to rise above the racist rhetoric that tries to tear them down.
Photo credit: StockSnap via Pixabay
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