Monday, January 21, 2013

Lunchtime Conversations: MLK, Jesus, Race, and Jokes

     Today, at lunch, my husband asked our boys if they knew what day it was.  My youngest ran to the calendar and said, “Martin Luther King Day.”  My husband asked him if he knew who Martin Luther King, Jr. was.  He replied, “A president?  Jesus?” 
     “Jesus?!  Why in the world would you think he was Jesus?”
     “I don’t know.”  (Personally, I think he was giving the Sunday School answer – when in doubt, say “Jesus.”)
     The conversation continued with a short history of the Civil War, segregation, and Martin Luther King, Jr.  My husband ended by saying something about not looking at someone’s outside or their race.
     “What is ‘race’”? my youngest asked sincerely.
     We looked at each other, wondering, “Is that a good thing or a bad thing that he doesn’t know what ‘race’ is?”
     After an explanation of “race,” my husband said, “That’s why we should never tell jokes about someone’s race.  It’s not funny or kind.  Have either of you ever heard someone make jokes about someone’s race?”
     My youngest piped up.  “Oh dear.  I’ve heard one.  If you’re an American in the living room, what are you in the bathroom?”  Pause.
     I exploded in laughter, and well, that was the end of our history lesson!

     Ahhhh, life with boys.

     On a more serious note, here is a link to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.  He was an incredible speaker!


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