The video will break your heart. In it, you see two 5-year-old black girls picking on a 3-year-old white girl on a tricycle in a St. Paul, Minnesota, neighborhood. Together they gang up on her, calling her ugly, and hitting her with her own hand, "Why you hitting yourself? Why you hitting yourself?" you hear another, older boy say as the little girl wails.
It's painful to watch and a sad reminder of how early bullying starts. But does racism have anything to do with it? Some say yes, adamantly, claiming it's a prime example of racial bullying, and that if the tables were turned, and it was two white girls bullying a black girl, then there would be uproar across the country. The girls' 12-year-old brother definitely contributed to those cries when he titled the video he posted online, "When white people piss black people off part 1."
That aside though, what actually happened between the girls seems to me more of a case of kids just being kids.
Sadly, kids bully one another, and it starts at young age, but the same scenario plays out across the country between children of all different races. It's happened for thousands of years; we just haven't had the ever-present video recorders around to capture it like this.
Both fathers of the girls involved say it has nothing to do with race. The 3-year-old's father, Shawn Peterson, said he didn't even know what happened until the 12-year-old boy's father made him come over to apologize. He said the kids all regularly play together, and race has never entered the picture. He's happy with how the other father has punished his children, and they're moving on. So why can't everyone else? According to Fox, since the video went viral, the father of the 12-year-old boy has received hundreds of threatening calls from strangers.
I'm not denying that racism is alive and well in the United States. Sadly, it is, but making everything that happens between people of different races into a racial issue doesn't help us move away from it. Sometimes bullying is just bullying.
While it sounds like the dads are handling the whole thing in a mature and sensible manner, I do have to wonder where they were when this was all going on. Why in the hell was a 3-year-old riding a tricycle in the street with no adult supervision?
Do you think this incident had anything to do with race?
Image Via KMSP-TV
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside