A little girl proved racism is still alive in the hearts of many. She wrote her friend a note to decline the invitation to the child’s birthday party. Harmony Jones had a slumber party for her 10th birthday, but her Caucasian friend could not attend because Harmony is African-American.
Harmony and the little girl are classmates who quickly became friends. The girls attend Highland Oaks Elementary School located in Memphis, Tennessee. Harmony wanted her friend to celebrate with her but the little girl declined with a note which read:
‘Maby’ I will not be able to come to your birthday sleepover, because my dad will not let me go because you are black. Not trying to be ‘races’, but my mom let me go. Happy birthday!
Harmony was disappointed that her friend would not be able to attend, but did not allow it to ruin her celebration. Christopher Jones, Harmony’s father, explained he never expected his daughter to endure prejudice at her age. Jones said it upset and hurt him that his little girl would have to deal with this, but he has no hard feelings toward Harmony’s friend. There is a lesson to be learned, according to Jones, who added:
I guess we parents need to be more aware and conscious about what we teach our children.
This is another sad situation that confirms racism is alive and well in America. It not only affects African-Americans, but all races. Current events seem to show that racism may have declined but it is not going away any time soon. The reality is every human has profiled another without merit. Regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual preference or religious beliefs every person deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.
Derrick Bell, the late legal scholar and first black tenured professor of law at Harvard Law School, wrote a book titled, Faces at the Bottom of the Well. In this book he spoke of abandoning the idea of blacks ever gaining full equality in America. He said it was a painful and sad verdict derived many years ago from a powerful truth that could no longer be ignored. Bell acknowledged that members of the dominant culture today have a greater tolerance for African-Americans, but many Caucasians still fail to view blacks as equals. Blacks, as stated by Bell, are still treated and looked upon as second-class citizens.
It is every American’s responsibility to help eliminate all forms of racism in their lives, including their homes and jobs. Parents have the responsibility to teach their children to love their peers and be tolerant of others; not despite their obvious differences, but because of them. Law enforcement has the responsibility to practice just behavior and tolerance, while teachers should teach open-mindedness to their students.
With parents like the little white girl’s father, racism will continue to raise its ugly head. The little girl understood that her father was wrong in his thinking and wrote her friend a note. The sad reality is this neither of these children should have to deal with the idea of racism when all they want is to be friends. Racism forced a little girl to feel the need to explain that she is not racist and clarify the desire to attend her friend and classmate’s celebration. Harmony’s sleepover went as planned, but this will undoubtedly be an experience she will not soon forget.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Main Image Courtesy of Cox Media Reports
Inside Image Courtesy of Light Brigading – Creativecommons Flickr License
Image Courtesy of Jamie Skinner – Creativecommons Flickr License