Monday, January 18, 2010

Still dreaming

"It's sad that someone got Martin Luther King dead," says Big Dog in the backseat as we drive to pick up my newly repaired vacuum.
"It is," I answer. "Did you talk about this in school?"
"A little."
"Do you know why someone killed him?" I asked, wondering how much they covered in kindergarten.
"No," he said. "Why?"
"Well, there was a time in this country where people were given different rights based on the color of their skin. It was ok to tell some people they didn't count as much and didn't get to be treated fairly because they happened to have dark skin. Isn't that stupid?"
"Yeah! That's dumb," he agreed.
"Martin Luther King Jr was working to change that. He was helping people organize and fight the laws that kept some people less equal that others."
"Like they had the separate drinking fountains?" offers Big Dog. "Why would they do that?"
"I don't know. I think there is a lot of fear and ignorance in the world. Fear and ignorance breed hatred."
"But why did they kill him?" he asks.
"Ignorance and fear are powerful things. Sometimes when people are facing big changes, changes to the way they are used to things being they get scared. And sometimes when people get scared they do horrible things to prevent those changes. So in this case, this man thought that by killing Martin Luther King Jr he could keep things from changing. But he was wrong."
"I'm glad," says Big Dog thoughtfully. "Why do some people not want to be fair?"
"I don't know. That I don't really understand at all," I answered. "Maybe they're afraid that if everyone was equal, if everything was fair, they'd lose something. Maybe they think they don't have enough and if they had to share what they had, they would suffer. But that doesn't make it right."
"No. That's kind of stupid," he agreed. "Are things all fair now?"
"No sweetie, things are never going to be completely fair. Some people will always have more and some will have less. The best we can hope is that we make sure that those who have the least have enough to survive," I say in my left-leaning way.
"But we don't have different water fountains anymore, right?" he asked. Obviously the water fountain thing made a big impression on him.
"No, but some people still aren't given the same rights as others just because of who they are. People like uncle Stan and uncle Michael don't have all the same rights as I do. They can't get married just because of who they love."
"Well that's just stupid. I hope someone changes that," says my boy.
"Me too, honey. Me too."
Out of the mouths of babes oft times come gems.

1 comment:

geekymummy said...

Indeed! Crossing fingers for this prop 8 trial to make a difference.

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