Friday, April 26, 2013

why I worried that my 3 year old was learning about white supremacy in nursery school

80% of the anxiety I grapple with every day stems from the fact that I've put 4 children out into the world. When they are out of my sight, far from my reach, I worry about what has rubbed off on them, what has been imprinted, what topics of contention we will tackle before sleep settles into their bodies.

I had barely gotten Violet tucked into bed last night, when she bolted upright and chased me into my room. "Mommy, I forgot to ask you something."

"What is it?"

With wide eyes and that little smirk (a revelation that something exciting was dancing around in her brain), she asked her question, "Mommy, do you know about the Aryans?" She pointed off in a vague direction.

I must have heard her wrong, "Did you say Aryans?"

"Yep," she confirmed with a proud little shake of her three- year- old butt.

I paused- stuck on the word-my mind jumping to its negative connotations. Surely, this was not the word she meant. "Do YOU know about the Aryans?" I countered.

"Yep," she answered, spinning on the ball of her foot.

"What do you know about them?" I prodded.

She stopped spinning and pointed out the window, "They live up there in the sky."

Ah. "Do you mean aliens?"

"Yep," she nodded enthusiastically. "Aryans."

There will be nights in the not too distant future when she will come to us with heavier questions and we will need to delve into the history of words that have long held negative associations. But for this moment, I can take small comfort in the fact that the worst that has rubbed off on her in school is her penchant for poop talk and a wish to be a member of an Alien nation.

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