It's a vibrant world, and it's never been more so. We're even taught to be able to see colors everywhere we go. It's an interesting contrast to just a few years ago, when society focused on the possibility of a blind climb towards Mount Unity. But it seems that climb has been removed from the list: “Professors Teach Preschoolers to See Color, as Childhood Ignorance Gets ‘Debunked,’” “Cartoon Network Schools Kids on Racial Righteousness: It Is a Must to Never Be Colorblind,” “Ivy League School Offers Rock Climbing Class for Everyone, but Not for White Students,” “It's Official: The Federal Government Makes It Official: The Federal Government Declares Colorblindness Racist.”
In addition to that mountain of evidence is a brand new article from How to Be an Antiracist author, Ibram Kendi. A Critical Race Theory proponent, he wrote an article for The Atlantic in which he described a traumatic family incident. While his one-year-old daughter was at daycare, she became attracted to a doll with white skin and blue eyes. His friend was the first to take note. “The next day, as Sadiqa came to pick up Imani to play with her, she too, observed my daughter having fun with the doll in white. We laughed at it. We hoped for Imani to play with an entirely different doll or toy in the near future.”
But she didn't. Her scowl on the first day turned into an angry “No!” on day two, when they tried to get the doll out of her grasp. This led to a lengthy driving trip of whining on day three and then an all-out rage on day four when she clung to the doll, refusing to leave it. Ibram noticed a Code Red alarm: “The alarm was ringing.”
On the fifth day of attendance, he went through the school's toys. “I wandered around the day care and came across the massive toy chests. I looked through the toys but did not see any dolls that looked Asian, Native, Latino, Middle Eastern, or Black. Each doll I came across was white. Anger overtook me. It wasn't at the daycare's owner, but at myself. Imani was there for several weeks, and never once did I check out the chests of toys.”
According to Ibram, Imani was not the only one to decide to play with the white doll instead of dolls of color. She did not have another choice. In all the several years of play, how many kids have choices in their toy boxes, libraries, or schools? What does the presence of dolls in white tell children about what their caregivers believe is important?
He was a businessman about it. “We talked to the owner about the white dolls, before we left to go home for the evening. The changes came.”
Ibram believes it's only natural for children to have playmates of the same color. Imani will probably one day have a child who's identical to her. However, Ibram was not just concerned about the nature of the venture. He was worried about pollution. “Sadiqa and I may have been overly sensitive to the entire incident. However, we were unsure if our Black child's attraction to the white doll might mean that she was already breathing in the psychological smog Beverly Daniel Tatum has called the ‘smog’ of white superiority.”
He then cited an 1897 study in which a child psychologist discovered that children were drawn to dolls with white faces. Perhaps things have changed little since the beginning of the 20th century? It might seem that way.
And yet, the entire world seems to be awash with prejudices: “Nature Journal Rips America's National Park Names to Honor White Supremacy,” “Major University Whacks the White Supremacy of the Library of Congress,” “Professor Slams the Evil of Writing Rules and Slaps White Supremacy with Failing Grades,” “Major University Acquires Its Own Mascot of White Supremacy,” “Colorado University Hosts Teacher Training to Combat the ‘White Supremacy of Productivity,'” “Law Professor Denounces the Constitution's White Supremacy and Calls for an ‘Antiracist’ Replacement.”
We're living in a fascinating moment in history. The past was when white supremacy was a topic of discussion due to the fact that men would say, “We people are white supremacists.” Today, we have a clear picture of white supremacy because Democrats claim, “Those people are white supremacists.” If the entire world were swarming with these people, there would be a decent number who recognized themselves. For now, we'll have to learn the story from a different perspective.
In any case, Ibram's got luck—and more than a little. Since he's the one who's believed to be responsible for inciting the “antiracism” movement—according to UCLA law professor Kimberle Crenshaw—with his referring to the “active dismantling of systems, privileges, and everyday practices that reinforce… white dominance,” his daughter is surely prepared for a lifetime of clean air.
And he's not a slave to daytime concerns. According to the New York Post, Kendi is an incredibly successful businessman in his personal life. He charges $20,000 for an hour of presentations via virtual technology and has also marketed his entire collection of ideas, releasing self-help items, including his own “antiracist” baby book.
Perhaps a nanny could be in the cards. If you're worried about your child's dolls as well, Ibram has you covered.