Popular Children's Book Illustrator Under Fire for Her 'Ugly' Drawings About Racism (PHOTOS)

pencils depicting racismFor white parents, talking to their children about racism should be an obligation; for parents of color, it is a necessity. Some fans of children's book illustrator Mary Engelbreit (who is white) are up in arms after the well-loved artist posted a drawing on her Facebook page commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Michael Brown shooting. 


 Here is the image that started all the controversy:

It's been a year since unarmed Michael Brown was shot and killed in the street by a policeman. The protests about his...

Posted by Mary Engelbreit on Thursday, August 6, 2015

After she posted the image, Engelbreit started receiving criticism from some of her fans:

It has been proven over and over, Michael Brown was the bad guy here, not the police. You should be ashamed.

So disappointed- not that you care what others think-

Too bad they can't order parents to teach their children to stop being criminals.... to be decent human beings.

I am SO disappointed in you Mary. I realize this is your 'party' and you have the freedom to post whatever you want to express but with that said I wish you would have left the politics off your creative brush. I have been a follower of your art for over 30 some years. I have enjoyed the touch of heart and soul that you give me when I view your feel good art. Makes me sad that you have taken this path.

Engelbreit refused to apologize for her views, and instead posted the following image in response:

Regardless of the details of Michael Browns actions,none of which deserved the death penalty, by the way, his death made...

Posted by Mary Engelbreit on Friday, August 7, 2015

Beyond exposing some obvious racism, the words of her "disappointed" fans show exactly what white privilege looks like. White privilege means not wanting your happy, adorable children's artwork tainted by something like racism, as if racism and childhood were two separate things. For people of color, racism is part of childhood. Racism is an ugliness that colors every day of many children's lives. White people can choose to ignore it and compartmentalize it -- people of color can't. 

More from The Stir: Racism, Riots, and the N-Word: The Talk You're Afraid to Have With Your Kids

Racism affects children. Michael Brown's death affected families. And Mary Engelbreit is showing her support for her entire audience with these drawings. Bravo.


Image via © Sadeugra/iStock

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