” Despite being given orders by the East German government to let no one pass into East Berlin, the soldier helped the boy sneak through the barbwire. It was reported that the soldier was caught doing this benevolent deed by his superior officer, who removed the soldier from his unit.”
I was a young mother with a 2-year-old boy living at Wymount Terrace on the BYU Provo campus in Utah. I was doing laundry with Robbie when a tall dark man walked into the laundry room.
I don’t know what his nationality was. He could have been a black-American citizen or a “foreigner”. But he did have a particularly dark pigment.
When Robbie saw him, his quick response was to point to him and said loudly, “Mom, what is that?”
That was awkward.
But I immediately told Robbie that he was our friend who had a darker skin than us. I said it loud enough so our visitor could hear it. Our new friend and I smiled at each other .
Our kind visitor understood a child. He did not get offended. He did not get angry. He did not blame me for my child’s actions. He did not start lecturing me.
I think about that incident once in a while. Someone who had no exposure to a black person could naturally react the way he did. I appreciate that good man with a kind understanding nature. It makes life less complicated.