The moment you as a parent choose a movie for your children to watch, you ensure that it is age-appropriate. You would never think of allowing your 5 years to watch the movie 50 Shades of Grey, much like, as an adult, you would not be interested in watching a movie about a Disney princess.
From the moment your child is born you suddenly become interested in organic foods, starting your vegetable garden so your child doesn’t ingest toxic foods that can play havoc with their immune system.
You teach them kindness toward pets you may have; so even as a toddler your child knows not to pull the cat’s whiskers or pull the dogs tail. You have high hopes that the child will listen to your teachings and not be influenced by their peers or social trends.
The fact that you don’t allow your child to watch scary movies if they may have nightmares is testament to your level of care. It’s as if you want to prolong the innocence and purity of your child for as long as you possibly can and there is nothing wrong with that. No parent that truly cares for their child wants them to be harmed in any manner, shape or form.
This is the problem though:
You are caring for your child’s physical, mental, emotional, financial, and psychological well-being and that is commendable yet neglecting their social education.
You invite your family for dinner and talks around the table centres on work and you start moaning about how “stupid” that “idiot” at work was when they failed at a task, never once thinking that you are intolerant of people who may not have the same mental capacity you do. Who is innocently listening at the table to your conversation?
You attend church and afterwards, the Minister and a few of the congregation start talks about how “useless” this ANC Government is, how it was so much better in the past when you were safely ensconced by Apartheid laws. Who is standing next to you innocently listening in to the conversation?
You and your partner decide to look for schools your child can attend but it has to be a school where there are not too many of “those” children attending as you want your child to have a good education. Is your child privy to this conversation?
You are watching a movie with your children and though it is age-appropriate because it’s about children, one of the children in the movie is overweight and you hear your child remark on how “fat” that child is as they laugh. Do you correct your child right there or laugh with them and praise them for not being “fat” like that particular child?
There is a heated debate between you and your family members about how black people just steal and plunder the resources of the country. How black people are good for nothing except thieving and violence and one member of your family remarks thank heavens that they are white and not black. Meanwhile, your children along with cousins and friends have been playing a slight distance away from you. What have they learned during your debate about black people?
A Muslim woman appears on TV and is wearing a hijab and you or your husband likens them to violent terrorists that bomb everything in the Western World. In the meanwhile, your child is being cradled on your lap.
Every time a young, white person spews racial hatred and or homophobic comments on social media or in public spaces, white people are quick to jump to their defence and categorize the utterings from right-wing families or groups thereby absolving themselves but how many of you “ordinary, non-racist” people socialize your children into this type of behaviour in your day to day interactions with each other?
How many of you follow the strict guidelines of parental guidance when it pertains to racism, bigotry, ableist language, and homophobia and so on?
How many of your children watch and hear the day to day behaviour of their parents and decide to follow that behaviour in school among their peers or on social media?
You do your child an enormous disservice by not preparing them for the “real world,” by not educating them socially in ways that will assist them to integrate into society especially the workplace where people from all races, gender, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation can be found.
You are the one making it harder for your child to find employment when you teach them that they are superior because they are white. It is NOT the fault of the black or brown person/s who call them out but your teachings.
If these are your principles that you live by then ensure that you are wealthy enough for your child to remain within the confines of a white-only world.
When you do not practice parental guidance when your children are little, don’t be surprised when they run into trouble in the world and ultimately resent you for the lies you have been spreading during their childhood.