Friday, February 27, 2015

Teach the children well ...

Parents trying hard to do the right thing brought their kids to the weekly farmer's market in the Mission on Thursday. Their flyer explained:

We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement and want to include our whole families in honoring Black History Month and beginning a public dialogue about how racial justice is everyone's responsibility. Of course we believe that All Lives Matter -- but right now -- we want to emphasize that Black people are being hurt at a very high rate and that having black skin does mean that you are treated differently and most of the times in a bad way. We want our kids to appreciate and see that Black is Beautiful and Black Lives Matter!

This action is for the children, to each kids how to stand up to injustice and have a voice in the community for what's right. It is also for the parents, to show that it is vital to talk to your kids about race and there are developmentally appropriate ways to do it. ...

Important note: the content of the #BlackLivesMatter campaign is in response to racist violence, but since children have differing information about what’s going on in the world, participants will not be discussing murder, and staying away from the slogans that infer killing. Instead, they will be focusing on how and why Black lives are valuable in their community. The organizers thank you for respecting this.

After the minimum obligatory speechifying ...

... the little procession meandered past the vendors.

I'm not going to pretend that this event didn't feel slightly odd to me. The parents, mostly but not exclusively white, looked as if they came from up the hill in Noe Valley, a more affluent area. The market occupies the street in front of the Mission District landmark destroyed by fire early this month, a blaze that left over sixty people homeless. Most of the newly homeless are Latino immigrant families; many are children. This wasn't their march.

On the other hand, I would bet that the sort of parents who bring their kids to this sort of thing are the sort of people who helped raise $180,000 for the fire victims. For all its tensions, San Francisco can still sometimes delight.

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