Some excellent work on the potty earned 2-year-old Sophia a trip to Target and a chance to pick out whatever toy she wanted.
According to an Instagram post by Sophia's mom, Brandi Benner of South Carolina, she had promised Sophia a big reward after a successful month of potty training.
After just a few minutes perusing the aisles, Sophia zeroed in on a black doll dressed up as a doctor — her dream job. In 2017, you'd think this wouldn't be a big deal.
But ... you'd be wrong.
When it was time to check out, Benner wrote, the cashier looked befuddled over why a white girl would want a black doll.
Was it a gift for a birthday party? Did Sophia pick it out for a friend?
Nope, Sophia confirmed. The doll was for her and it was definitely the one she wanted.
But the cashier pressed on. Benner recounted the rest of the exchange on Instagram"
"The cashier replied, 'But she doesn't look like you. We have lots of other dolls that look more like you.'
I immediately became angry, but before I could say anything, Sophia responded with, 'Yes, she does. She's a doctor like I'm a doctor. And I'm a pretty girl and she's a pretty girl. See her pretty hair? And see her stethoscope?' Thankfully the cashier decided to drop the issue and just answer, 'Oh, that's nice.'
This experience just confirmed my belief that we aren't born with the idea that color matters. Skin comes in different colors just like hair and eyes and every shade is beautiful."
Nick and I told Sophia that after 1 whole month of going poop on the potty, she could pick out a special prize at Target. She, of course, picked a new doll. The obsession is real. While we were checking out, the cashier asked Sophia if she was going to a birthday party. We both gave her a blank stare. She then pointed to the doll and asked Sophia if she picked her out for a friend. Sophia continued to stare blankly and I let the cashier know that she was a prize for Sophia being fully potty trained. The woman gave me a puzzled look and turned to Sophia and asked, "Are you sure this is the doll you want, honey?" Sophia finally found her voice and said, "Yes, please!" The cashier replied, "But she doesn't look like you. We have lots of other dolls that look more like you." I immediately became angry, but before I could say anything, Sophia responded with, "Yes, she does. She's a doctor like I'm a doctor. And I'm a pretty girl and she's a pretty girl. See her pretty hair? And see her stethoscope?" Thankfully the cashier decided to drop the issue and just answer, "Oh, that's nice." This experience just confirmed my belief that we aren't born with the idea that color matters. Skin comes in different colors just like hair and eyes and every shade is beautiful. #itswhatsontheinsidethatcounts #allskinisbeautiful #teachlove #teachdiversity #thenextgenerationiswatching
A post shared by Brandi Benner (@leilani324) on
Sophia's amazing response illuminates an important responsibility of white parenting.
The likes and comments began pouring in instantly, with strangers praising both Sophia's kind spirit and Brandi's top-notch parenting skills. But as the story went viral, one thing stood out: Sophia knew the doll didn't have the same color skin as her. She just chose to focus on the things the two of them had in common.
In other words, the goal shouldn't be to teach our kids that race doesn't exist, or to raise them "colorblind."
In fact, studies show that even if white parents don't bring it up, their kids will notice sooner rather than later that not everyone looks like them. What matters is that they learn race isn't — and shouldn't be — something that divides us.
Sounds like Sophia already understands this, which puts her well on her way to becoming a good human. There's no doubt her parents are extremely proud of their little girl this week.