“Mommy, why did a white guy kill Martin Luther King, Jr.?”
“A white guy?”
“Yeah. A white guy. Like us.”
[pause, while Mommy decides how to respond to this one. Background: we have been listening to the soundtrack to “Wicked” in the car a LOT, and Helen is very concerned with the fact that people in Oz are terrified of Elphaba just because she’s green.]
“Well, Helen, even though we’re all the same INSIDE, some people think that they’re better just because their skin is a different color. You know, like how people in Oz think they’re better than Elphaba because she’s green. They’re afraid of her because she’s different and she’s strong.”
“So, when Mr. King was alive, he had lots of people that loved him very, very much. They loved what he said, and how he made them feel. And some people were afraid of him because of that. And some people thought that they were better than him because he was black and they were white. And unfortunately, one of those terrible people had a gun.”
“That makes me sad.”
“Me too, Helen.”
I lightened up the end of the conversation by telling Helen that she could be purple and she’d still be my Helen inside, and I’d love her every bit as much. The color on the outside doesn’t tell you ANYthing about the character on the inside.
“I’d rather be pink.”
“Of course you would.”
Sometimes I really hate this world, and the fact that I have to let my sweet, innocent little princess-obsessed girl grow up in it and learn that not everyone is nice.