Overcoming Child Abuse

Reflections on recovery.

Overcoming the Child Abuse of Racism

How a preschooler's wisdom touched my heart

I didn't know Trayvon Martin, but the tragedy of his death and the ripple effect of what it has touched in people all over the country, has stirred me up considerably.  What will it take for us to overcome the child abuse of racism?

Yesterday, while listening to a recording of a radio show on which my sister Kaolin was being interviewed about her book, Talking About Race: a Workbook About White People Fostering Racial Equality in Their Lives, I may have found a clue.  At the end of the interview she told the story of a little bi-racial boy who was four or five years old, and had a white mother and a black father. His white grandparents were very upset about their daughter marrying a black man, and when their daughter became pregnant they were even more upset. But they worked through their issues and ultimately the little boy became the light of his grandmother's life. 

One day, around the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the little boy went up to his grandmother and said, "Grandma, it's a good thing Martin Luther King, Jr. was born, because if he wasn't, you wouldn't know how to love me the way you do."

This story gave me goosebumps and I wondered, is that what it will take to overcome the child abuse of racism? More goosebumps moments; more wisdom touching our hearts? I think so. What do you think?

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Catherine McCall is a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the author of Never Tell: A True Story of Overcoming a Terrifying Childhood.


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