I always marvel at the unbridled laughter and inquisitiveness of my little granddaughters. I love their observations and innocent comments that rip into my heart.
For instance, last year, my granddaughter Miller, then barely four years old, showed how perceptive she was about the pandemic when she said she knew we couldn’t visit “because the Earth is sick.”
My three-year-old granddaughter, Talia, caused me to double over with laughter when she surprised me as I emerged from the bathroom in my underwear. As I dashed back inside, she calmly asked, “Pop, where are your glasses?”
A tide of recent events had me thinking about what their world might be and how they will be prepared to face it, whatever it might be.
Being Black will be problematic, but I hope some of the barriers will be lessened. While the new Jim Crow and his family will continue creating Hell, maybe their followers will diminish.
In a few years those girls may ask about the murder of George Floyd. The older granddaughter has a pet and would have cried if someone put a knee on her dog’s neck. Sadly, someone will have to explain to them there was a portion of the country that probably cared more about a dog in that situation than the inhumanity shown to Floyd.
No doubt my granddaughters’ parents will teach them to tell the truth. Hopefully, the number of lying and cowardly politicians of my day will dissipate. I hope my granddaughters ask: Do politicians teach their children not to lie and that lying is bad and can harm people?
I wonder what those girls will think when they find out that some religious denominations rail against lying, except when certain people they support do it. My granddaughters will probably be stumped when they can’t find thou-shalt-lie in the Bible.
I hope my grandchildren will obey when their parents give them the being-stopped-by-law-enforcement talk. I know my children will tell them that not all law enforcement officers are bad people or see their skin color as the enemy, and will treat them fairly.
Yet, I have to be concerned because both of my granddaughters have allergies and a sudden reaction to a sneeze at a road stop could get them injured or killed. Hopefully that fraction of the enforcement will be weeded out in a decade.
I hope they won’t have to deal with the overt racism that Indiana homeowner Charlette Duffy went through. Duffy, a Black homeowner, felt she was lowballed in two home appraisals last year. The next time she removed photos of herself and her relatives and had a white friend pose as her brother for the appraiser's home visit. Presto, the value doubled. We know this is not an isolated case.
But, even in their young years, I hope they don’t feel the rage of those who say their natural hair or a style that celebrates their blackness, is unfit at certain schools, athletic competitions or on TV. I hope they won’t have to deal with the physical threats lobbed at my daughter’s TV news friend because some Texas TV viewers didn’t like her “Black” hairdos.
Hopefully, too, in 15 years they will face a country that implores them to vote rather than puts up roadblocks to hurt their chances of casting a ballot in a democratic society. For that matter, I hope there will be a democracy here for them.
Oh wait, I hope public and private schools will teach their complete history, including the horrendous inhumanity their forefathers endured to even be considered human. And, how they emerged from chains to give their lives for the country that brutalized them.
There should be no controversy about teaching that to them. But, there are growing numbers that feel this nation’s inhumanity should be edited or cleansed. This is not fair to those wonderful, inquisitive girls nor their ancestors.
My big hope is my granddaughters won’t shy away from some “good trouble” if it’s needed and that the times will be so good that they won’t have to explain why their lives matter.
Email Edward Pratt, a former newspaperman, at email@example.com.