Saturday, May 10, 2008

Peach Crayons

This is the ramble that was sent to me by my friend Laurel-Anne Underhill. I really like it so asked if I could post it. She was nice and agreed.



Ramblings of a bored person with a shocking pink
cast on her leg and a severe case of cabin fever.

Recently I read on the internet that one of the presidential candidates stated that one of the other candidates was loosing the support of the white voters. Since I happen to support the latter candidate, I looked down at my hand to see it I was still white. Just to be sure I asked my daughter, who assured me I was peach, as I had always been.
Yes, it was true, I had always taught my children when they were little that the color of their skin was peach. Where do most American children learn their colors? From a box of crayons. And even as pale as I am, I am much closer to the color of a peach crayon than I am to white one. As a matter of fact, there are, to my knowledge, no white people in the U.S. , unless they are ghosts, in which case they are dead and ineligible to vote. I believe Voldemort is white, but he is British so he can’t vote in American elections either, which is a good thing because he would definitely vote republican.
And now this brings me to a discussion I had with my husband recently about a little song I was taught in Sunday school when I was about four. The song tells us that Jesus loves all the little of the children of the world and you sing “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight,” while touching one of your fingers as you say each color. As an imaginative four year old I pictured a hand with little children coming from each finger. The children were, of course, Christmas red, banana yellow, jet black and ghostly white. (Four year olds are so imaginative; maybe we should hire them to come up with new ideas for movies) Fortunately I asked my mother about this and she explained that although it wasn’t very accurate, many people called Asian people yellow and Native Americans red.
As a four year old I though the song was dumb, now I think it is racist. And what about the little green children, does Jesus not like aliens at all? If there is anyone out there who still goes to church, do they still teach this dumb song to little children?
I have always objected to being called white. In college when they asked for my race on a form I always checked “other” and wrote European American. During the 2000 census we had just moved and I had three little kids and did not get the form turned in. So the nice lady came to the door and went through the form with me, writing my answers for me, like I couldn’t do it myself. When it came to race she started to check white and I told her no, I was not white, I was European American. She said she had to put white. I told her to put down it was under protest from me, that if I had to be a color, I was peach. She put down white. She was peach too.
So what does all this mean? Maybe there are a lot of color blind people in this country. Maybe there is medical hope for them. Too bad they are not REALLY color blind and could just see people as people. Wouldn’t it have been just as good to tell the children in Sunday school that Jesus loved ALL the children all over the world?
And think of the thousands of little children all over this country that sang that silly song every Sunday and, not asking their parents as I did, spent all their spare time looking for Christmas red and banana yellow children. (And if you think this is a stretch of my imagination, there are lots of little children in this country that believe Halloween is so important because it plainly says in the Pledge of Allegiance “and to the republic for witches stand”) And the children that were scared to go out in public because if there were white children out there, they were obviously ghosts.
Thank goodness in the coming election I can vote for anyone I want to, regardless of their color. But I won’t be voting for Voldemort, because he is white.


  1. Very well said. I really enjoyed this post, thanks for sharing it.

  2. Unfortunately at the time this song was written Jesus seemed to be the only one that loved all the little children. While the song may sound racist today, in it's original context it was trying to teach people that racism is wrong.

    I remember growing up in a world that thought color was important. I watched the riots in the south on the neighbor's tv because we were too poor to have one. I always wondered if that made me the "poor white trash" they ridiculed as well. I remember being confused by what made those people think they were better because of their skin, because that sure wasn't what I thought. Those people were awful.

    I think it's great if the world has come far enough that the meaning of this song has changed. However, I suspect in the eyes of many, there's still the need for the message that we are all the same no matter what we look like on the outside.