superdumb supervillain: Live a Little: Be Grateful for Change

Monday, April 23, 2012

Live a Little: Be Grateful for Change

I've always loved thrift shopping and combing antique malls and estate sales. You find amazing bargains and tons of bizarre and beautiful things. You can also gauge how society has changed, for better and for worse. For example, the highly collectable realm of pickaninny dolls and related ephemera featuring cartoonish black folk or white people in blackface. It's offensive and yet oddly appealing- so wrong it's hard to believe it wasn't a joke. I mean, Amos and Andy ran for thirty years on radio and TV! Crazy.

I was perusing the wares at a shop a while back and came across this book with phenomenal typography and illustrations. It caught my eye because the main character is named Jasper. But I couldn't justify buying it. First of all due to the ridiculously high marked price but also because it's totally racist- look at his lips and the watermelons. Ugh. 

I know our society is far from equal and that racism certainly still exists but I'm also glad that my kids are growing up with books full of characters from all ethnic and racial backgrounds peacefully coexisting. Sometimes the ├╝ber-PC one-of-each color of today's children's programming is a bit heavy handed, true. It's not quite a small world, after all, but it's getting better about being thoughtful, and that's something.

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  1. Well said. There are certainly things I miss about the "good old times" when I'm raising my children (it's not just the times, it's me too - I have hard time getting myself excited about playing UNO after dinner), but when it comes to equality I'm glad my children are living in this era. When we lived in NY I loved how their classmates were all different races and had different religions, and while here in Sweden there is not as much diversity, my children will learn much more about equal rights for women - the glass ceiling is pretty much shattered here.

  2. That is one reason why we keep our kids in public schools. There is incredible diversity but at the private schools it is totally white with literally a handful of students from other ethnic backgrounds. My kids just do not see color when they look at their friends.

  3. Yes, In so many ways our society has changed for the better, having equality for everyone is key. I like seeing children grow up with multicultural opportunities and experiences. I think teaching children early and throughout their lives that everyone deserves respect and equal opportunities is key in transforming all of our society.


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