Sunday, June 3, 2007

Prejudice and the Eight-Year Old Kid

Buggy turned 8 this past Friday and wanted to have some of the girls from class over for a slumber party. A couple parents called last week to decline their invitations due to previous engagements. However, one of the girls' fathers called yesterday (the day of the event) to "clarify" something Buggy had mentioned. This guy's daughter told him that Em and I were pagans. Em said that she was, but I was not. When asked, Em told him I was not a Christian either. That's when this kid's father told Em that his daughter would not be coming and promptly hung up.

I guess the fact that my kid is one of the best-behaved and smartest in class (according to her teacher and her test scores) is not indicative of her parentage whatsoever. This guy didn't even bother getting to know us, instead electing to base his decision on prejudice. Did he think there was going to be an animal sacrifice (Em has never done that sort of thing ever) before cake and ice cream? Perhaps he thought we'd attempt to indoctrinate his daughter into our ever so seedy world of hard work and treating others how we'd like to be treated.

I'm more upset than angry about this. If this had been a case of Em and I being ostracized, the two of us can deal with it. However, this guy took out his prejudices on my kid and that sucks.


Chris said...

I've dealt with that kind of prejudice before as well, being a Pagan myself. It does indeed suck to see people being so shallow as to make judgments off of a person's religion instead who they are as a human being. I have had several people who have sworn off talking to me (this has happened to my wife too) once they discovered I am Wiccan. Funny...seeing as they considered me a friend before that. Some friendship.

In this case, it's made even worse by the fact that this guy has decided to take it out on the Bug. Sad in that now Bug has to learn about bigotry in the worst way. But, as good a set of parents as you and Em are and as smart-as-a-whip as Buggy is, I'm sure she's aware of the fact that the problem is with this bigoted twit and not with her. Not much of a consolation, I know, but it's something.

smacky said...

Better off all around. In a few years, the guy's kid will be old enough to make her own choices about her friends. Hopefully her father's prejudice hasn't permanantly tainted her (ha ha, "taint"). People with brains tend to rise above it though (intelligent, open-minded people can have bigots for parents. Dumb, close-minded people tend to follow in their parents' bogotry, or they were so sheltered they never learned different.

Anyway, I'm around this week. Drop me an email and we'll make plans!

angrygrrface said...

If he wasn't recently deceased, I would ask if her father was perhaps Jerry Falwell.

J. R. said...

Am I wrong or are the actions of the father in question against many of the teachings of Christ? That's one of those ironies of organized religion that drives me batty.

Happy BD to the Bug!

Bill D. said...

I'm really not looking forward to my son reaching the age when other people start being a dick to him for no discernible reason. I don't expect I'll handle that too well. Kudoes for you for not murdering this loser with your bare hands.

Wes said...

I feel even sorrier for this guy's daughter than for the Bug -- after all, was the one who missed out on the cake and ice cream and girly-girl fun! But yeah, that sucks -- hopefully that guy's attitude won't affect how his daughter and the Bug get along in school.

I like how you added that Em has never participated in an animal sacrifice in parentheses, by the way -- as if we'd otherwise have assumed that she had! ;)

Garvin Yeung said...

I also think that this is really sad. having know all of you to be wonderful people it is a shame that Bug's friend would miss out on the sleep over and possible future friendship because the father feels threatned by the belief of others.

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