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Children Often Show Adults How to Heal Racial Divide

by Todd A. Smith

 

 

With a Child’s Heart


In Michael Jackson’s 1973 cover of the Stevie Wonder song “With a Child’s Heart,” the future King of Pop sang, “With a child’s heart nothing can ever get you down, with a child’s heart you have got no reason to frown, love is as welcome as a sunny, sunny day, no grown-up thoughts to lead our hearts astray.”


Well, two toddlers in Manhattan, N.Y. exemplified a child’s pure heart when they ran towards each other and embraced after not seeing each other for an eternity, two whole days.


As the BFF’s ran towards each other, one yelled out, “My friend.”


The video, which went viral and has appeared everywhere from social media to mainstream news, touched Americans deeply because of the color of the two friends.


Or should I say, the colorblindness of the two friends.


The two friends, one White and one Black, did not see any differences.


They only saw their friendship.


And witnesses to this display of friendship only saw pure love and no hate.


In society, adults often dismiss the thoughts and opinions of children because we falsely say that with age comes wisdom.


However, some of the most brilliant and touching things come from the mouths of babes and from their actions and perspectives.


When it comes to race and other demographic differences, age often does not produce wisdom.


The older people get, the more ignorant they seem to become when it comes to race.


As children get older, parents and other elders begin teaching children stupid things because adults often think they are so much smarter than they really are.


When Martin Luther King, Jr. grew up on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, his best friend as a child happened to be a White child.


However, when the two best buds got older, the White kid’s mother told her son that she did not want to see her son playing with that nigger ever again.


King never saw his old best friend again.


Without learning that hate from a parent, King probably would not have had to give up his life for racial equality and an end to systemic segregation.


He spent many of his 39 years on this planet trying to teach the world something that he and his former best friend understood as young lads.


That was, who the hell cares what color a person is?


The only people that truly care are ignorant adults.


Those two Manhattan toddlers have more sense in their little bodies than the former Manhattan resident that currently sits in the White House.


President Donald Trump continues to discriminate against people based on the color of their skin and where in the world they come from.


While President Trump once called some White neo-Nazis who killed people in Charlottesville, Va. at an alt-right protest some very fine people, he has consistently stereotyped people of color.


He called Mexicans rapists and gang members and he pretty much echoed those thoughts when describing Bahamians fleeing the Bahamas after the destruction of Hurricane Dorian.


Nevertheless, children will embrace other people with love and happiness, as long as they sense love and happiness.


Children will give other people the benefit of the doubt and not assume the worst.


It is not until adults teach them that color dictates character that children begin to separate from their friends of other races.


And it is not until adults tell children that there is something called race that they begin to look at the world through the lens of Black and White.


But parents cannot alone bear the blame for racism.


When people say racist things, people often say that person’s parents probably raised them in a bigoted household.


Therefore, people often say we cannot blame them because we have to blame the parents for instilling hatred.


But no adult can blame their parents for any of their opinions, thoughts or actions once they reach a certain age.


Because at a certain age, one has to realize that they are actually the age of their parents when they taught us the stupid things we believe today.


And just like we do not know everything now that we are in our 30s, 40s and 50s, our parents did not always know what the hell they were talking about either at that age.


Therefore, some of the things they taught us were pure nonsense.


And if you know something is nonsense, you have to have the sense to make their opinions a non-factor in your life.


Once you get a certain age, your parents no longer are responsible for what you believe or what you do.


And as you become older, you probably can look back at some of the things your parents chastised you for, when you thought you were right and they insisted you were wrong.


Come to find out, you probably were right and they probably were wrong.


But because people say wisdom comes with age, we probably believed them at the time.


Jesus Christ did not deny the children and even instructed his disciples to bring the children to him.


Not only do children have a pure and loving heart, they have belief with no doubt.


Therefore, Jesus would often advise his followers to believe like children would believe.


It is not until children reach a certain age and the world fills them with negativity, that they become hateful, doubtful and cynical.


But if we could somehow go back to the innocent days of our youth, maybe we could rid the world of much of its problems.


I constantly criticize Trump for his racism and divisiveness and rightfully so.


It just seems unfathomable to me that the leader of the free world would lead people towards hate as grown idiots cheer him on.


But maybe I have been looking for leadership in all the wrong places and looking for love in all the wrong places.


Those two Manhattan tikes demonstrated true brotherly love.


And maybe we should look more to the younger generation and not to politicians to bring us together.


As Jackson sang, “With a child’s heart go face the worries of the day, with a child’s heart turn each problem into play, no need to worry no need to fear, just being alive makes it all so very clear.”


This article was published on Friday 13 September, 2019.
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