I can not convince my seven-year-old that African-American Vernacular English is not “how a baby would talk”/lesser English. Even when he hears parents in the park switch to our English and use it flawlessly to talk to me or him while in the middle of a totally AAVE conversation, he is the most stubborn little racist I have ever known. I don’t understand it. Everyone this child has ever known is a bleeding heart liberal. He was born in a black neighborhood and has grown up in a black neighborhood and went to kindergarten in a school that had as many kids of color as white kids. WHY IS MY SON RACIST? He says things like, “They talk baby talk,” so casually, completely failing to understand the implications of his declaration. He’s not trying to be mean. In fact, the only way I can get him to not say such things loudly on the bus full of black people is by telling him that such statements are hurtful.

While I’m confessing such things, my ten-year-old thinks that homosexuality is unnatural and gross. Yep, the one who had sex ed in a liberal/welcoming church, who has seen his mom have lesbian relationships, who can count on one hand the number of adults in his life who are not at least bisexual, who was read all the picture books about LGBT issues when he was a toddler.

My thirteen-year-old, at least, is positively responsive to my opinions about minorities. I suspect the younger two will grow out of it if I keep working on them. I hope so.

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