“Mom, are we North or South?”
“West, baby girl.”
“No, I mean. Are we on the side of the North or the South?”
I put down my mop and looked at the paper she held.
“OH! Um… Neither, babe, most of our ancestors were in Europe during that time… except, of course, our great-great something-or-other, Chief Red Eagle, who was in the West at the time.”
She looked at me as if I had said we were living on Venus.
“But were we on the side of the North or South? Do we believe in slavery? Were we racists?”
“Uh… Well, slavery is not a good thing, but it’s not a racial thing. It’s a human rights issue. Not all slave owners were white, and not all slaves were black.”
She looked at me like a fish in the headlights, and not for the first time I wondered what the history books aren’t teaching our children. Or how political correctness is re-writing history…
“Sweetie,” I said, “People were brought over here from all over the world, from all walks of life to work on the plantations, the railroad, the infrastructure… some were made to make dental impressions in clay to bind them into servitude. They called them ‘indentured slaves’ and once they came to North America, they found they were unable to work off their indebtedness, just like others who were sent here from their own counties; sold by their own people into slavery…”
I saw her blank eyes looking back at me…
“But were we on the side of the North or South?” She asked again.
And, seemingly that’s what they’re teaching our children – the “black” and “white” of it – so, like any good parent in this situation, I said:
“West. Get over it.” Then, I picked up my mop and continued mopping the grime from the floor and realized the only slaves left in America all have boobs and are all named “Mom” by their owners.