We were all sitting there watching TV when the Cheerios ad came on. You know the one which has stirred up all the recent debate. It features a white mom and a black dad and the cutest kid in the world who poured Cheerios all over her sleeping dad’s chest because she heard it was good for the heart. The ad is heartwarming. The ad is tender. The ad is selling cereal. And now the ad is doing something else as well. The ad is forcing us to discuss race relations with our kids. Yeh, a cereal ad did that.
8 year old Alicia wanted to know why some people didn’t like the ad. So I told her. I didn’t put any emotion into it. I didn’t make any negative remarks. I said it like it is. I said simply that some people don’t believe that a white mommy should be with a black daddy. Some people still believe that white people should be with white people and black people should be with black people and Latino people should be with Latino people. She cocked her head and looked at me like I was crazy. She couldn’t believe it. She couldn’t understand it. It wasn’t right in her head.
In this house, mom is Latina and dad is White. Mom is Catholic and dad is Jewish. Mom is an educator. Dad is a newsman. Oh and we all like Cheerios. We are all sorts of things all mixed up. Our kids are the best of all these things. Most of all, our kids are inclusive. They don’t know racism because they haven’t been taught racism. For us, that’s how we choose to raise the kids. I applaud Cheerios for keeping the ad on TV. I applaud Cheerios for doing a little more with a commercial than to make it vanilla. Now pass the milk. All this talk about cereal is making me hungry.