Teaching Children to Love All Races and Cultures
May 6, 1996
How can I raise my children to be non-racist, non-sexist, etc... and make them aware of the various target groups and be their allies?
There are many types of groups -- so let's define our territory for a moment. We don't necessarily have to approve of the activities or beliefs of all groups. We don't have to be "allies" with everyone, in terms of their activities. (Although religious ecumenism should be strongly encouraged.) I refer instead to group activities that one might take strong exception to, such as violent or immoral behavior or beliefs.
The broad band of races, nationalities and cultures is a major type of "group" that does go beyond politics or beliefs. Here, we're dealing with human beings transcendent of what they "believe". Rather, we're looking at them as fellow human beings on a very small planet, all with an innate right to exist and be happy.
Now, this in itself is a very big step for many people. How can we explain to our children that this is the preferred attitude toward others? There has to be some basis in "fact" or logic. Hasn't racism defended itself with elaborate (though spurious) arguments?
I truly believe that this is a "God" or "No God" question. If there is no God, and we all developed from animals, rocks and dust, then really, anything goes. It finally boils down to who has the biggest stick to beat the other person with, and then survive.
On the other hand, if God does exist, and He created humankind, and created and initiated true unselfish love between God and humanity as His children, then our attitudes toward other human beings change dramatically. I realize of course that many religions and philosophies reject racism without specifically suggesting that men and women were created to be God's children. I mention this because of my belief that the human family, with parents and children, must itself have been designed by a Creator, rather than being a random accident of evolution. And -- if the family was created, it stands to reason that the Creator has similar attributes -- such as the concept of "parent and child."
This concept also influences how we view other people. If each person has been created by a parental God as His child, that means, of course, that we are all brothers and sisters. If unselfish love is of the highest value, then our children should naturally treat other people, no matter what their race or nationality, with the utmost respect and love.
This is what my wife, Kim, and I teach our children. I think that it will help them view others in a "colorblind" fashion. I also believe that inter-racial marriage centered on God will be the most powerful solution to racism. Racism is an artificial boundary that should never have existed.
Peter Falkenberg Brown is passionate about writing, publishing, public speaking and film. He hopes that someday he can live up to his favorite motto: “Expressing God’s kind and compassionate love in all directions, every second of every day, creates an infinitely expanding sphere of heart.”