Doyin Richards is the author of What’s the Difference?: Being Different is Amazing, which is a popular book about how to talk to children about diversity and acceptance. He spoke to Today to offer advice to parents about how to bring up these sorts of topics to children in a way that they can understand.
Following the unjust death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis, Minnesota, police, thousands across the nation have taken to the streets to protest racism and demand justice. Parents with young children might not be comfortable taking them to a protest like this in the case that it becomes dangerous. However, they can still begin to teach their children to have empathy for others and to show support for those treated unjustly.
Richards emphasizes that it is important to help children not only understand major issues that are going on in the world, but to ensure they have the words to express how they feel about it and what they would like to see changed.
This process begins by teaching children to have a sense of empathy. When a child has empathy they are able to better recognize when someone is being treated unjustly and to have compassion for them.
Richards has two young daughters, a 6-year-old and a 9-year-old. He has taught them to stand up for children that may be getting picked on.
“What I teach my kids is if they see someone being bullied or being downed or mocked or are being taken advantage of, they have to stand up. You have to put your arm around that person and say, ‘Listen, I’ve got you. I’m here for you,'” he began.
He went on to say that it is important to not minimize racial injustice or to defend it.
“What I’m seeing, especially now with the looting going on is, ‘Yeah the murder sucks, but why are they looting?’ Instead it should be, ‘Look it sucks that they’re looting, but it’s even worse that these black men are getting murdered in the street by people who are sworn to protect and serve us,'” he said.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, a video was taken of Floyd’s death and was posted online, sparking outrage. Since then, four former police officers have been arrested in connection with Floyd’s death. They include Derek Chauvin who is facing a second-degree murder charge, as well as Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng, all of whom are facing charges for aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.