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Not Racist

First of all before anyone yells at me, I'm not at all a racist. My neice is half and half, well my son just started kindergarten, and he calls the black people brown people, Like when he's telling me about his day, he'll say 'you know, Nathan he's a brown kid with the black hair." What should I say to him, should I change the way he says or sees things?


Asked by Anonymous at 9:12 PM on Sep. 17, 2009 in

This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • Children are very literal. After all he sees a person with brown skin. It doesn't have anything to do with the childs race. Discuss it with him at his age level and just teach him your values as he grows. I'm not sure if blacks take offense to being called "brown" but these days anything can be considered racist it seems.

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 10:10 AM on Sep. 18, 2009

  • I would just rephrase it for him..

    Tell him that he does not need to say he is brown... The boy has a name..and that is what he needs to call him..

    He was describing the boy to you I would not take it too personal..

    He is young and with your guidance, he will learn..


    Answer by Dannee at 9:17 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • Greetings,

    Simply guide him that people are known by their names and not the color of their skin. Often when children are newly introduced to new things they've not seen before, they tend to create their own verbiage and when describing something they are going to grasp at words they know in order to be descriptive.

    To your Son, if he just said "Nathan..." He is assuming you'd have no idea who he is, so he is using descriptive language to describe someone to you. So don't tell him he is 'wrong' just guide him properly. He can say 'Nathan the boy with black hair who wore a striped shirt today' just like he could say "Sara the girl with yellow hair who wore a green dress today'..

    Also, no one should feel you are racist for asking this question. You are asking about words from a 5 yr old child's mouth. :)


    Answer by aletheaanderson at 9:19 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • Mexican people are generally referred to as "brown"...just a FYI...

    Tell him that his friend is African American, and that his ancestors come from Africa. That's why his skin is brown. That should do it. Just so long as he's not using the "n-word".

    And another FYI, people with parents of different racial backgrounds are called biracial, NOT
    "half and half", That's actually a really insulting thing to say.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:44 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • my son is mixed and he refers to himself as brown, he doesnt know "white and black" he calls it like he sees it and is innocently trying to be discriptive :)

    Answer by mommymeg03 at 9:58 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • well i think brown is better than saying black

    Answer by SweetiePieAfWf at 10:26 PM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • My daughter is biracial, and she refers to herself as "brown." She gets mad when I try to correct her. She's just very technical, and to her, well, her skin is obviously brown, not black! It's confusing to kids, and I don't think it's generally something that offends other people when kids are just learning about things and making basic observations.

    Funny side story, a few months ago when she was just starting to really notice skin color (she's just turned 3), she said to my husband at the dinner table, "Daddy, you're brown. You're brown like Barack Obama."

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:03 AM on Sep. 18, 2009

  • I think most kids do that. They are just making observations. And technically their skin is brown. I never did anything about it because it was innocent and sweet. Eventually they realized other people referred to dark skinned people as "black" and they changed their wording. They also never understood why we were called "white" when it was obvious our skin was pink colored, lol. Kids tend to be very literal when they are young. They have also observed that most of their friends are "tan" colored. We live in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood so many of their friends have dark skin and look "tanned" all year long.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 8:18 AM on Sep. 18, 2009

  • FYI to the anon who thinks she is an expert on the "correct terms" ... Blck people from Jamaica don't like to be referred to as African American because they aren't.  And whatever terms you think are polite this year will be considered very rude 30 years from now.


    Answer by Anonymous at 1:41 PM on Sep. 18, 2009

  • not all people who are black come from

    i am black, german, danish, native american and my childrens father is german, irish & polish.
    around the age of K-G they asked why i am darker then them and their father is lighter. it is normal for a child of that age to be curious and eventually they ask, why?

    i told my kids, when they asked, that is what makes the world so beautiful, that we are all different and yet we are the same. just like your crayon box, its not fun to color with just one color right all those colors make it more fun. its hard to explain to a child when they are that young why things are the way they are. i used the crayon reference because i knew they would understand it and well, all kids love to color rainbows. we went on to discuss the importance of every color in the rainbow and i tied it into life. good luck im sure it will all work out fine.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:38 PM on Sep. 18, 2009