The Boy in The White Hat: Where is He Now?

A few weeks ago, we celebrated my grandson turning four years old. It was the first time the four cousins had been together. This picture captures their joy, and perhaps you can imagine mine…

I love the way they are holding hands. I love their hats!

These are the children in my world: these are the ones I can influence for good; these are the ones I can be a good example to; these are the ones I can teach to love and respect all human beings so that they can do their part to bring love and light into this world of ours.

Then there’s this:

This photograph, taken at a Ku Klux Kan rally in 1992, was widely circulated after the events in Charlottesville.

I’m assuming that this little boy was dressed by his parents that day. Even if he chose his hat himself, at three or four years of age, he could not know the significance of that symbol of hatred.

I wonder what words and thoughts and ideas he grew up with? I wonder who his role models were? I wonder what books were read to him at night? I wonder what he was taught by the significant adults in his life? I wonder where he is today?  This little boy, wearing his KKK hat, is now a young man. He will be almost thirty years old, the same age as my son…

I remember the day my son went to camp. He was a young teenager. He had a great time. He told us about a friend he met there.

What’s he like? I asked.

Well, he’s tall, like me, he’s good at football (soccer) and he’s fun to be with.

When I met this fun friend, he turned out to be African-American. My son had never even thought to mention the color of his skin when he described him to me.

It made me smile. And I’ve never forgotten it.

There is so much good in the world. We can be part of it. Our children can be part of it. But we have to teach them. We have to educate them.

On Wednesday, I read this post on Facebook, from a United Methodist colleague and mom:

What will you do to contribute goodness to the world today? Not a ‘stick your head in the sand’ way from the news of this day, but what is one thing you can do to counter the darkness? For me, I am the mom of two white boys of privilege. Today, I have precious one on one time with my 9 year old son. I will spend the day loving him and talking to him about equality and what that looks like and what it does not look like. I will remind him how our faith shapes how we view the world and constantly beckons us to co-partner with God in bringing the Kingdom of God in actions of love, justice, and mercy, to the places we find ourselves. And, we will eat ice cream.

Thank you, Pastor Tania Dozeman, for bringing light into the world. I intend to do the same.

Great Picture Books to Inspire Hope in the World

Books to Help Kids Understand the Fight for Racial Equality

 

4 thoughts on “The Boy in The White Hat: Where is He Now?

  1. natalie

    I have experienced hate myself, because I am the daughter of an Egyptian and when I was working in Atlanta, I had no idea until I was faced with it and couldn’t understand why my color was so distasteful to another. I think if anything, history created hateful thinking and we need to wake up and think differently. Not dismiss the past but learn from it and do what we can to make a better future that boils down to:

    What will you do to contribute goodness to the world today?

    (heavy subject matter, so much I could write but I’ll keep it short on here) xo

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *