I was having fun with giving my sun glasses to my little guys, Zion and Frank. As we were messing around my friend Zion came out with a rather philosophical and ethical question. Why do you have White skin and I have Black skin? Zion asked this profound question in a rather straight forward manner. Then after asking the obvious question he gives me this look of sadness and says can we still be friends? My response was of course we can be FRIENDS. I said we’ve been friends since you were a little, little kid.
Little Zion is your rather active, nonstop and inquisitive type of kid that will drive you crazy if you don’t keep up with him. As we are driving around he’s belted into the front seat and continues to change the radio station, mess with the various controls for the heater and then moves the vents for the warm air coming out. I wondered what got into him to ask the ‘race’ question and then make an assumption that because I wasn’t Black, or he wasn’t White I didn’t want to be his friend or couldn’t be his friend.
I attempted to explain to him that our skin color or race was something that we had no control over and thus it shouldn’t stop us from hanging out or being friends. The difficulty is that he’s being raised in a world where sadly it does matter what your skin color happens to be and whether someone would allow their kid to play with my little friend. I attempted to explain that what mattered most was that we cared for each other, treated each other fairly and realized that people are people regardless of their race, size, gender and whether they liked to play basketball instead of football.
I know that the release of the ‘Black Panther’ Marvel movie recently has given a new face and sense of hope to many of my ‘Black’ friends. I know even though Zion and Frank are definitely too young they will most likely be taken to the movie by an Uncle or Aunt and will love the action but more so the fact that everyone in the movie looks like them. I know that Martin Luther King’s statement about what’s more important isn’t the color of our skin but the content of our character and how we treat each other.
I’m thrilled to have these little guys be part of my life and jazzed that they have a friend who is different from them that intentionally spends time with them. I can’t fathom my life without these little high energy friends.