I decided to change the title of my previous post "Permission to be Exposed to Bigotry and Ignorance" to just "Permission to be Exposed". The reason for my change: A few of my friends have vehemently challenged the presumption that this controversy has anything to do with race. Because I respect these friends vehemently, I wanted to change my title. It does not change the fact that I am saddened that my child had to be exposed to the permission slip sent home, the permission slip that caused her to doubt others' value of Obama's words based on his race. (Yes, she did assume that it had something to do with race.) But, I also am saddened that my friends might think that my title accused them of being bigots and ignorant. I titled it to grab attention, but that attention is not worth making others feel belittle by me.
My friends' reasons to shield their children from Obama's speech may, in fact, be completely ideological (which I still have issue with. AND many parents weren't boycotting the lesson plans, they were boycotting the speech itself.) However, I do ask that my friends also consider how my child, and all other American children, have the great privilege to be encouraged by a our first minority president. For most children, this is the first minority role-model who is not an athlete or entertainer. The reason why my child, and many others, might assume it has to do with race is not hard to understand. Never has America chosen to put itself under the leadership of a person of color before (brown, black or purple.) Now that it has, people are refusing to let their children listen to him. Its not a huge stretch. My 9 year old made it.
No, I do not think this is only about race, nor am I the one making it about race. However, it is, in part, about race. I just would like my friends to acknowledge that part, to know that I am understood. That my child's assumptions and fears are understood.