When Brigette Diez Kerr’s 7-year-old daughter Concetta asked for braids to look like her black friend, the mom was hesitant. It wasn’t that she didn’t want her daughter to wear braids, but she feared that her daughter would be stereotyped. What worried Diez Kerr even more was that her own fear was a form of unintentional racism.
The mom detailed the experience in a now-viral Facebook post.
“This is my daughter and her best friend. They’ve been BFFs since kindergarten. They are in second grade now. My daughter got up the other morning for school and asked that I fix her hair like her best friend wears her hair. She wanted tiny braids just like her.”
Diez Kerr said that instead of giving her daughter braids, she told her they didn’t have time.
“That was a lie. It was MY fear of my daughter getting teased due to the stereotypes that we place on each other and how others perceive them that kept me from giving her braids that morning,” the mom admitted.
“My pastor just spoke this past Sunday morning of intentional and unintentional racism. I am by no means intentionally racist. I have dear friends and coworkers I love that are of many ethnicities. But was MY fear of my daughter being stereotyped a form of UNintentional racism?! I WAS CONVICTED! How dare I push MY fear, my UNintentional racism, onto my daughter who sees no color, no stereotype, no hate, no ‘white girl hairstyle’ or ‘black girl hairstyle?’ She only sees pretty hair on her best friend. She shows love to ALL people without hesitation.”
A few days late, Diez Kerr decided to braid her daughter’s hair.
“Her smile was from ear to ear this morning and she couldn’t wait to get to school to show her best friend. She wanted to take a picture with her best friend this morning because they were twins.”
“I know so many people who claim to not be racist. Maybe you aren’t intentionally being racist but are there some decisions you are making or thoughts that you are having that may be considered UNintentional racism? We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves! Let’s do a better job of showing this love,” the mom concluded before sharing a Bible verse. “John 13:34-35 (NIV): A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
The post resonated with readers, with many praising the mom for being honest and transparent.
“What a brave post. I know I’ve had moments of unintentional racism in my life,” wrote one commenter. “I pray my children will not have that. All I look at my grandparents generation, then my mom’s generation and mine, I see big steps being taken in our family. Thank GOD! however I can also recognize the steps we still need to make. Thank you for this post and to your pastor for bringing this to light.”
“Oh how I absolutely love this,” added another. “God uses his smallest vessels to teach us valuable lessons.”