White parents: teaching our children to hate is harmful to all children- including ours

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I am outraged by white people expressing outrage at Halle Bailey’s casting as Ariel in the Disney live action of the Little Mermaid. No child deserves to be treated this way, the latest shameful chapter in America’s long history of harming children of color.

Every white person who complains that a Black girl cannot be a Disney princess is sick. Not only are they harming Black children, they are harming all children, including their own.

When white children grow up, white people will no longer be the majority in the United States. No ban nor wall can stop the demographic change that is taking place.

This change is not something to fear, it is something to embrace.

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White parents who teach our kids that they are superior and isolate them with other white children: not only are you harming other children, you are failing to prepare your child to thrive in the society we live in.

If we care about our kids, we need to role model to them what it is to relate across difference as equals from an early age. We need to share our excitement that Disney has cast such an extraordinarily talented and beautiful actress and singer as Halle Bailey and take our kids to see Ariel when it is released. And expose our kids to books and videos about children of color, and send them to schools where they learn side by side with children of color, taught by teachers of color.

Please stop the disgusting #notmyariel campaign and spend some time looking yourself in the mirror.

Why are you so outraged about this choice? Why exactly can’t a mermaid be played by a Black girl?

What are your children learning from you?

And start to set a better example.

Karen Fleshman is an attorney, activist, single soccer mom, and a nationally recognized expert on racism, feminism, workplace fair practices, police brutality, and politics. Working in nonprofits and local government, Karen came to understand that racism is the underlying problem in our society. In 2014, she founded Racy Conversations, a workshop facilitation company, to inspire the first majority antiracist generation in US history. She is the author of “Racy Conversations for White Women: Practicing Inclusion, Allyship, and Intersectionality in Everyday Life” to be published by Sounds True in 2020.

Founder, Racy Conversations Inspiring the antiracist generation.

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