My son attends a very nice daycare to pre-k school in Brooklyn. He is white (of Italian/WASP/Armenian descent) and most of his schoolmates are black, as are all the teachers. One day as we were walking home from school, my son said, “White people treated black people very bad in this country. Is that my fault?”
This was during Black History Month, so I figured they must have been talking about slavery. I explained that, yes, black people were treated very badly, but that many people, including white people, had fought against slavery in the Civil War. I told him he was not to blame for racism, but that it was his, and all peoples, duty to fight against it and other kinds of injustice whenever we saw it happening.
Thanks to Carla, a 48-year-old communist and mother of 2, for this story.