This week, I find myself thinking about the responsibility we carry in raising the next generation of leaders. When a young man grows up to view and value himself as superior to the women and girls around him – we have to ask ourselves where he learned that women were not of equal value. When a young woman grows up to hate those who do not look like her, we have to ask who taught her to dislike or fear the other.
The words we use around our children matter a great deal to what they learn, and to whom they will become. So when the President of the United States calls a black woman “a dog”, it matters – and when we ignore it, that matters too. Because it’s wrong. And we must call it out before our children learn otherwise.
At the same time, or just as importantly, if our children do grow up to understand that sexism is wrong, that racism is wrong — but they do not feel that they can do anything about it, we have to ask who taught them that change was impossible?
Jennifer Siebel Newsom & The Representation Project Team