In 2007, I heard the most sad story of all my life. It was few days before Christmas, and the social assistant of the organization where I was working sent an email to all employees with a gift catalog. Employees with kids under 7 years old could select up to 2 items they’d receive as gifts from the employer for their kids.
I happened to meet the assistant a morning, and she kindly asked me what gifts my son would like to receive. I said I don’t know, but asked what are the most popular items with other parents. She replied “Every year is different. There are some star products like Lego which work well with boys. Educational games, gears, and DVDs are also popular, but some parents are more practical and would go with stuff like baby bathtub or bikes.”
Then she continued “It happens some years that I receive requests for items not listed in the catalog. Some funny, but few years ago, a mom asked her 6 years old daughter what gift she’d like for Christmas, and the little girl after lot of hesitation and sigh said “Mom, could we become white even if it’s for one day!?”
The Assistant became silent for a whole minutes then concluded “It was so painful to hear. I cried, and I cried all day long. I’m a mom too, you know!”
The 6 years old black girl in Paris already knew the difficulty of being black in a work dominated by white people who in a huge majority hate almost instinctively black people. Her dream to become white, even if it’s for one day, is the dream of millions of black kids and adults.
If you were the parents of the small girl, what would you respond?