The Small Difference Between Life and Death

by ClarissaB on Octobre 19, 2015 - 3:14pm

            The article ''I Have the Big Job of Teaching My Black Children About Police'' written by Rachel Garlinghouse on January 5th, 2015 in The Huffington Post describes a very appalling reality faced by many caretakers of dark-skinned children. The author, a mother of three girls, gives us insight on her experience in having to raise dark-skinned children and the struggle she will face when she must explain that police will not always be who they imagine they are. She begins by explaining an event where a policeman lent a helping hand when a man had hurled the n-word at her daughters. The author goes on to say that her children admired the police since the incident but that, soon, they will have to face the unfairness that many dark-skinned people must face. She describes the questions that she receives from her children when they hear about individuals such as Michael Brown and want to know who is he- or was. She also mentions the assessments and the bad judge of character that will be made about her children simply because of the colour of their skin. Garlinghouse goes on to affirm that she wants the best for her children, for them to live happy and healthy just like every mother does. She concludes by saying that, although she hopes for the best, teaching her children about police is much more than a simple talk or hard truth; it can mean life or death.

            Personally, I found this article to be extremely captivating in the way in which it gave readers insight on the struggle faced by many mothers of dark-skinned children. I believe that there should be more emphasis on the way to answer questions asked by children about taboo topics, such as race. The author's children were curious about Michael Brown and therefore, could have been curious about many other things as well. In the article ''Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn Race'' by Erin N.Winkler it is said that children who have been silenced or ignored learn through this process to not talk about race openly. In other words, their questions do not disappear but instead go unasked. This occurs for the reason that parents believe children can't grasp the concept of race so they avoid having discussions about it. I think that parents should openly talk about these subjects with their children in order to avoid false beliefs or assumptions. They should bring up the topic of unfairness towards people of color and that these inequalities are biased and disgraceful. As Winkler argued, teaching young children to think in a more intricate way can be very powerful in decreasing the amount of prejudice. I thoroughly agree with the idea of guiding children to fight against the discrimination in their society. Furthermore, teaching these children will force many caregivers to rethink their ideas about race as well. Overall, I really appreciated and applaud this article for the way that it demonstrated the power the police hold in the future of discrimination. It displayed the harsh truth about the fear many mothers have when it comes to justice and their dark-skinned children. It also compelled me to realise how crucial it is for parents to talk to their children about police since unfortunately for some of them, it can be the difference between living or dying. 




Garlinghouse, R. (2015, January 5). I Have the Big Job of Teaching My Black Children About     Police. Retrieved October 13, 2015.

About the author