Generally, one would find that in a family, the older sibling is in charge, and based on their status, would have seniority over the younger ones. Maybe, a long-ago time, it happened that way, but I have discovered, through my own experiences and that of others, that often it is the younger sibling, “the baby,” in the family that receives more attention.  That the parents and older siblings are too often indulging the whims of the youngest member and as a result, because we are human, resentment builds up from the older ones towards the parents, who allow or tolerate the behaviour and the sibling who “gets away with murder.”

The older sibling gets told things such as, “you’re not a baby anymore, be nice and let the baby play with your toys,” and so much more. 

If you have watched a movie called Boss Baby, you would understand what I am referring to; From the moment that baby arrives, unless parents are mindful, the baby receives all the attention. The baby is cute and is often indulged in ways that the older one never was. It seems unfair and can often lead to two sets of rules applying to one family. In most families, as the baby grows from toddler to child, the inequality or unequal treatment evens out naturally, but, in some cases, the behaviour of the youngest, if left unchecked and further indulged, worsens over time. For some older ones, the situation becomes untenable when the younger one understands this and the subsequent “bad behaviour” is left unchecked and or further indulged by the parents.

The family history before the little ones’ arrival seems to be erased instead of constantly being spoken of with the result that the younger sibling will simply ignore the older one and, in extreme instances, will “tell tales,” to get the older sibling in trouble.

In the above scenario I have painted, people can identify with it but, what if we take it and apply it to race and racism? Let’s use black and brown people and their history in this world. History did not start when colonisation happened. 

In America, as an example, the children are taught about Thomas Jefferson, Christopher Columbus, etc., and understand it to be the “founding fathers,” but that’s not true, so telling children such perpetuates the lie that everything started when white people arrived. The same happens in South Africa, where, as a child, I was taught that Jan Van Riebeeck “discovered” the Cape- This erases the history of indigenous people in much the same way the younger sibling did. Unfortunately, because people believe it, this narrative carried forward becomes further “compromised” by it being printed not only in the history books but also in the form of statues erected to “honour” the founding fathers or “discoverers.”

In doing this, as people, we live side by side, but never truly know the truth, and, though truth can be “found” to be subjective, history isn’t- If it were, there would not be the insistence on teaching the “older sibling” the history of the family from the point of only when the younger sibling arrived, when the older one is living proof that before the younger one’s arrival, the family existed.

One of the basic tenets of Critical Race Theory is storytelling and counter storytelling, and it’s important even if it doesn’t fit into the “younger one’s agenda.” The fact is that there is no Boss Baby unless people insist on only listening to the baby and ignoring the one who was there before