A group of us sat around a table for lunch at the beginning of the school year. With nothing in common to talk about, the question about what tv shows we loved to watch as kids came up. Among some of the most watched and adored were Hey Arnold!, Rugrats, Rocket Power, Boy Meets World, Doug, Dexter’s Laboratory, Lizzie McGuire, Arthur, and Recess. There was a resounding groan of solidarity when someone mentioned that the least favorite was Courage the Cowardly Dog. “I never understood that show” was the sentiment all around. It was another one of those frothy, light hearted conversations.
Somehow, we get to a point where one classmate says “as a kid, I was afraid of Black people on tv, I would run away scared.” Everyone giggled awkwardly. My jaw dropped. She tried to take it back and justify it by saying that she had never met Black people and that the unknown was scary. I guess this is fair–being scared of the unknown. But where did you grow up and who are your parents and just—-why?
Why was this okay to say right now? I can see it being said in other contexts, but it was said while the rest of us were still thinking about ‘the good times’. Did she think the rest of us would identify?