I had dinner out with JR this evening at Wegmans as part of grocery shopping and the subject of Islam came up--out of curiousity I asked her if she had any Muslim classmates.She wasn't sure,and she may not, our end of town is less diverse, though there are tons of Muslims on the other side of the city.
I tried to explain to her about what she's been hearing on TV about the Muslims recently. About 9-11-01,which she knows vaguely about. About anti-Muslim sentiment and about the Afghani/Iraqui conflicts. And I think she's still confused.
Of course she is. It makes no sense to her in what she's experienced in her own life.
She spent her first 3 years in the care of a wonderful, loving Afghani woman. Her best friend from the crib there at Saida's house was and is still an African American girl who she loves so much that we jokingly call them half-sisters. Her cousins have ethnic backgrounds ranging from Filipino to WASP, with some nice mixes in the middle--including her. And one of her best friends at school for the last few years was a boy whose Muslims parents emigrated from West Africa.
On the flip side, she has met "mean girls" of most colors, races and religions. Mean boys too for that matter.
JR knows that there are good and bad people of every persuasion and every skin color. She doesn't get why the actions of the bad people would make anyone think that ALL people of a certain background would be evil.
I only wish that more grownups would have the simple understanding of my 11 year old daughter.
And all I can hope is that her generation is growing up to be wiser than the current ones of so-called adults.