This mom's tweet thread about playground racism went viral because parents need to hear it.

Writer slash mom Mathangi Subramanian recently witnessed some playground discrimination. Even more disturbing than the words that were thrown around by the children is the fact that their parents turned a blind eye to it.

“Still processing this, but two days ago, two blonde girls at the playground told my daughter she couldn't play with them because she doesn't have blonde hair,” Subramanian explained in a multi-tweet post. “The girls' parents did not intervene. You better believe I did.”

Her message to the children was blunt and to the point, yet totally reasonable. She didn’t attempt to “school them,” but carefully explained that excluding others is never cool. “I told the blonde kids at the playground that they can't exclude people,” she continued. “I did it calmly and politely, while their parents watched.” Um, yeah. They just watched. And said nothing.


After the incident, Subramanian had a heart-to-heart with her daughter about race and discrimination, revealing on Twitter that this was sadly not the first time her little girl had experienced exclusion because of her skin color. She points out that it isn’t really fair that she is forced to have these sorts of conversations all of the time while white parents have the privilege of avoiding it.

“Parents of color talk about race with our kids all the time. We have no choice. It’s there, everywhere, and can’t avoid it.”

The bottom line is that as a parent, your job is to, well, parent. By promptly addressing the situation, the blonde moms could have taught their children an important lesson. “They should've said something. ‘My daughter was watching. Their daughters were watching,’” she tweeted. White parents: TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT RACE. I know it's uncomfortable. But the rest of us do it all the time. We need you to do it too.”

Kids are not colorblind, but it is our responsibility to raise them with the understanding that skin tone doesn’t really matter.

As a mother, I have occasionally found myself in the position where I knew I needed to address race with my children. Despite the fact that we live in Philadelphia, one of the most racially diverse cities in the country, and that my kids have friends of every skin shade imaginable, they still say things that make me cringe a bit. They notice that other people don’t look the same as them — whether that has to do with skin color or missing body parts or if they have a penis or vagina. They are just figuring things out, and since kids rarely have a filter, that means they say what they’re thinking. Out loud.

When they’ve unknowingly said things that could come across as ignorant, I have immediately corrected them. Because that is my job. “You treat people equally, no matter what,” I have explained. “Never exclude others.”

The bottom line is: whether we are talking about race, nutrition, manners or hygiene, we can’t expect kids to just “know better.” It is our job to teach them right from wrong. It is our job to explain why differences aren’t a reason to treat people differently. If we, as parents, don’t guide them through social and racial awareness, how can we ever expect racism to dissolve for good?

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Texas Representative James Talarico is on a mission to get his constituents the life-saving medicine they need. The 31-year-old lawmaker has just introduced legislation that would cap the price of insulin—a medicine people with type 1 diabetes need to live, which has become unaffordable for many—at $50 a month.

The mission is personal for Talarico, as he nearly died three years ago when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

He shared his story on Twitter:

"In May 2018, I was a healthy 28-year-old running for the Texas House. I decided to walk the entire length of my district and hold town halls along the way. I hike Big Bend every year, so I wasn't concerned about a 25 mile walk...

But halfway through the walk, I began feeling nauseous and fatigued. Before the town hall in Hutto, I vomited in the bathroom."

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less