SLATE’S “Care And Feeding” Column: Helping Woke Parents Drive Themselves Mad About Race Since 2019
01/27/2021
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Care and Feeding” is SLATE.com’s parenting advice column where wannabe Woke parents write in to be chastised by a rotating group of SLATE staffers.

Recently, a flood of race-centered questions has taken center stage in the column. My personal favorite:

It serves as a window into the paranoia that Leftist parents are whipping themselves into in the United States of St. George Floyd.

Concerned mother “Momma So White” reported that her young son has started repeatedly “complimenting” her by saying, “Momma, I like your white skin.”

The mother and her husband attempted to squash this new behavior by explaining to their child

…how compliments about people’s character are kinder than those about appearance, about how all skin colors are beautiful, and about how people of color are treated unfairly in our society despite having equal value.

But no luck.

In fact, the tyke “responded by doubling down and saying that he doesn’t like Daddy’s brown skin.”

His father and paternal grandparents are Hispanic.

The writer, clearly frazzled and unnerved, details her efforts to raise a right-think son including  exposing him to “lots of books with diverse characters, including books that talk about race more explicitly like [ race hustler Ibram X Kendi’s] Antiracist Baby.

Nevertheless, her biracial son persisted.

Out of concern that he may offend a grandparent or a kid at school, the mother concluded her letter:

I feel unsure if I am projecting white guilt onto my kid, who is just going through a mommy phase, or if I am letting him down by not doing enough anti-racist work in my parenting. Any help, advice, or admonishment welcome.

This sort of “Anti-racist” proclamation that the parent is not racist despite the offspring’s behavior is a standard opening for queries addressed to the Care and Feeding” column.

  • In the memorable My 2-Year-Old Doesn’t Seem to Care About Being Anti-Racist [December 1, 2020] concerned parents reported that even though they are doing everything rightwhen [they] try to discuss issues like structural racism, intersectionality, or White fragility,” the toddler “doesn’t seem at all interested” and, worse yet, “she often walks away, asks for a cookie, or even falls asleep!”

The mother asked SLATE “How do we get her to appreciate the urgency of the conversation around deconstructing white supremacy?” and signs her letter “Anti-Racist Mom.”

Jamilah Lemieux, [Tweet her] the (black) Care and Feeding writer who replied to the letter, “provided a tongue-in-cheek response to what she assumed was a “lazy troll," but hedged at the end just in case the mother was serious” [Slate writer couldn't tell if concerned mother claiming toddler isn't 'anti-racist' enough is satire, by Michael Lee, Washington Examiner, October 19, 2020].

  • I Think I’ve Screwed Up the Way My Kids Think About Race [June 21, 2020] featured a mom agonizing that her 18-year-old son’s lack of racial preference when filling out his college roommate form was actually a sign that he was racist—despite her efforts to fill his life with diversity.

She asks:

He has to specify his race, and all of the profiles of potential roommates he views also include race. He says all he cares about is if they are male or female and what their interests are—he doesn’t care about race. With everything going on in the U.S. now, I’m doing more reading on racism, and if I’m understanding correctly, not caring about race is almost as bad as focusing only on race. Should he care what race his friends are? Or is it OK for him to not even care/notice? Is there something we should be doing or talking to our kids about before they go to college, or is it too late? Are they just as racist as someone who only has white friends, or am I worrying about nothing?

 Launched in June 2019, Care and Feeding “has experienced a 148% increase in total engaged minutes and 142% increase in unique visitors, according to the digital media company.”

In late November, MediaPost reported “Nicole Chung, Emily Gould and Doyin Richards [joined] Jamilah Lemieux and Michelle Herman in an effort to bring new and diverse perspectives to the column” [‘Slate' Adds 3 Writers To 'Care and Feeding' Column After Audience Growth, by Sara Guaglione, MediaPost, November 27, 2020. links added].

All five members of the team are career journalists and activists without any formal expertise in developmental psychology or elementary education. None appear to be white gentiles.

But panicking parents believe in their authority so absolutely Slate has increased the columns publication from three times a week to daily.

Credit where credit is due: Doyin Richards’ response to “Momma So White” and her biracial racist chilc was by no means aggressive or inflammatory. He said she should take a “deep breath and relax” and noting “It’s not like you’re going to see him with a tiki torch chanting “Dad will not replace us” at bedtime.”

But Richards, right, recommended that she “keep an eye on whom he interacts with” because if her son’s reasoning for liking her white skin “shows racist tendencies, those thoughts came from somewhere.”

Would Richards have been so empathetic if the woman inquiring had not mentioned her child’s Hispanic connection? It is hard to say.

The pressures of Woke parenting are obviously crushing. Fall in line, purge those who don’t, and remember that wrongdoing lurks around every corner—even in your three-year-old.

On another note, please let the VDARE.com editors know if you’d like to submit your parent questions to me so I can present my opinion as the moral absolute.

Aveline Talmadge [Email her] is a casual observer of popular culture.

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