Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"Black & White" Means Something Different Here

Not only is it the name of my husband's favorite kind of cookie, but there is a lesson to be learned about tolerance, as well. What the hell am I talking about? Well, this morning we had a theater group come in and do a show ("Cinderella") for an auditorium full of first and second graders. The show was good, not the calibur of a true Broadway spectacle, but a helluva lot higher quality than you'd find in places that aren't within a stone's throw of the mecca for musical theater. The kids certainly enjoyed it and were riveted from start to finish... enthusiastically leaning forward, eager for the Prince to put that slipper on the right gal's foot. What I found striking, however, was the fact that no one blinked an eye over the fact that the dashing Prince was a black man and the sweet Cinderella was as pale as Snow White. What a wonderful thing!

As the interracial couple kissed (and the kids shrieked "EEEEWWWWW!"... funny how two people kissing is more gross to them than two people shooting one another) I couldn't help but wonder how this one would play back home in Illinois. The scandal that would've resulted in Hampton Elementary if such a production had gone down in my day... or maybe even this day. I wonder how far the middle of this country (or at least those places outside of major metropolitan areas) has come with regard to racial issues? I suspect not as far as one might hope. I guess the presidential bid of Barack Obama is a vote toward the more positive answer to that question, but who knows.

After the show, I was chatting with the pianist and he got on the subject of Iraq and made a comment about how sad a future the students had ahead of them... what a terrible path we've left for them to traverse... and this cynical old rat bastard (meaning me) actually had an optimistic response (shock!). I pointed out the diversity of the student body and said that by being exposed to so many different cultures and ethnicities as children, hopefully these young people will be far more tolerant of those who are different from themselves, and therefore not be as narrow-minded as those in power today.

One can only hope.

2 Comments:

Blogger anonymous jones said...

Hi! We're all red on the inside!

12:10 AM  
Blogger Metabolic Karma said...

There is a hope...because despite the "powers that be" that seem to want to divide people...children are growing up in a society where the lines between races are being blurred more and more...especially among them.

Our children are our only hope.

Keep up with expanding the kiddies horizons! You're an integral part.

12:17 AM  

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