It generally takes between 15 and 20 minutes to get from home to Viva’s preschool. This morning, it was a very long 20 minutes, starting at the second stop light.
Viva: Mommy, why are you not brown?
Mama Blah [totally blindsided]: Whuh? Why am I not – brown?
Viva: Yeah. Why are you not brown?
Mama Blah: Um, hm. Well, I’m not brown because I came out kind of pink.
Viva: Why? I want you to be brown. Me and Daddy are brown.
Mama Blah: Um, hm. Well, honey, you can't change your skin color. [Apologies to Michael Jackson. Sorry, Jacko.]
Mama Blah: It just doesn't work that way. Some people are brown, some people are tan, some people are pink. You just are the color you are.
Viva: But I wish you were brown. Our family is brown. How come, why are, how come you can't be brown?
Mama Blah: Well, it all dates back to slavery and the one-drop rule.
Viva: The one-drop rule? Wasn’t that hogwash debunked years ago?
Mama Blah: Well, I think all reasonable people agree that the one-drop rule, aside from being specious, is an evil tool devised by The Man to keep us down. However, due to the historical societal acceptance of the rule, the family I come from is classified as black, and hence, I was raised to identify as a black person, despite being, well, pink.
Viva: You know, it occurs to me that this country is all kinds of messed up when it comes to racial issues.
Mama Blah: Oh, honey, don't even let me commence.
That was just for starters. Later in the conversation, we discussed God, saying grace, Christmas, Jesus, and Santa Claus. All before 8:30 in the morning.
Damn, this has been a long day.