Post date: Feb 6, 2011 4:08:58 AM
While I was at work today, my father-in-law took my son to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Natural History Museum. My little dude is lucky Grandpa is a nice guy. Grandpa even bought him a toy lizard. My son already owns a toy lizard he named "Squeaky" because it makes a squeaking sound when you squeeze it. Squeaky's new friend has been given the unfortunate name of "Blackie" because he is colored black.
It just doesn't sound right to my ears for my son to walk around saying "Blackie" when the name has some really negative connotations. It wouldn't be good for us to be out in public and my son to loudly say "Blackie! Blackie!" over and over, giving someone the wrong idea that we're some type of racist family.
And yet, the name was given in complete innocence. My little boy is still at the age where he doesn't notice ethnicity, instead referring to people by the color of clothes they wear, not the color of their skin. That is, he doesn't see an African American, but rather he sees a "green guy." He doesn't see an Asian, but instead just sees a "blue guy." Really cute, actually. "Blackie" is simply named according to one of his most outstanding features.
So, I've decided to just let the name "Blackie" slide by without me saying anything about it. Explaining why the name "Blackie" is questionable is just going to introduce my boy to issues he doesn't need to worry about yet. Let him enjoy his innocence as long as it lasts!