Mom’s Lesson on Racism

Twins - Racial Learning




Here I am at age  5,  lounging around with my little bro’ Ian. 

It was 1993, and Mom had just surprised us with a new set of toy twins.

“There’s a black baby girl for Alyssa, black baby boy for Ian!”

Sabotaging Sissy

Up until this point, Ian’s motivation to play with dolls was purely driven by wreaking havoc on any doll in sight to piss off his Big Sis. Ripping heads off, Gouging eyeballs out, Tattooing them with horrendous markings. You name it, he did it.  This doll was no different, he was bound to demolish it too.

Simian & Vanessa

But we were instantly smitten with joy. Just look at those smiles beaming from ear-to-ear.  We quickly fabricated names for the twins: Simian and Vanessa. I just have one question… 

Why are they both naked?!?

Mission Multicultural:

But my mother had an ulterior motive behind this spur-of-the-moment surprise…  Somewhere in her library of ‘How-To’ books on parenting,’ she caught wind of how NOT to raise a racist kid.   Their addition to my doll family definitely diversified things a bit.  But ‘Simian & Vanessa’ were not just dolls after all. 

They were my mother’s the primary tool for luring us in with simple chit-chat, then stealthily trapping us in as hostages during a 1:1 sit-down. You know, the classic heart-to-hearts that parents love to have, and kids love hate.

Moral of the Story

“Yes, These babies have darker skin than the my other dolls.
Yes, they look a little different.
No, I don’t play with them any differently.
No, I don’t treat people with different skin different than me.
I promise I won’t be racist when I grow up, Mom.”

And at 23 years old, I’m definitely not racist.
Who knows if it was influenced by these two dolls; which by the way are still lurking around my house. 
What I do know is that this picture actually exists and has been resurrected from an album to the fridge– shedding a whole new humorous vibe upon all who walk through the kitchen.

Thanks Mom!