America... Land of the Free! Or...Is It???

We live in a country that is such a melting pot. The State of California alone is rich with so many varying cultures and races of people. However, there is a question we should ask ourselves: "Are we raising culturally aware and sensitive individuals?"
Such a bold question to ask and the answer may surprise you. For the first time ever, we have a Black President and this did not occur without doubts, fears, or reservations. Regardless to what has happened or what will happen in the future, we are still very far away from being a culturally accepting society. This may be a touchy subject for some, but a subject that, needless to say, needs to be discussed.
What do our children hear us say about individuals who are "different" from us? Do we correct our children when we hear them make comments that sound similar to the ones we have made? Do we correct them when we hear them refer to a certain race in a derogotory manner?
I am sure we are all guilty of saying certain things we shouldn't say, but what is important is that we make ourselves aware of the fact that there are certain "individuals" watching us and our every move and word: Our Children.
Because our neighborhoods and classrooms are made up of various individuals from various backgrounds with varying beliefs and practices, we need to be sure that we are instilling in our children acceptance. Accepting those who may look, think, talk, and behave different than what is considered the "norm". It is important to remember that an individual's environment plays a key role in how that individual may think or behave.
You may ask yourself, "how is it possible for me to teach acceptance to my young child or my children?" The answer is very simple: YOU should be accepting of others who are different from you. The word "different" covers a variety of things; it is always wise to consider that not everyone's family will look like yours. If someone's family is not made up of the same family unit as yours, does that make them any less of a family than yours? If they are a different color, does that make them any less of a family than you are? I'll answer those questions: NO! You just may be surprised at how well that "other" family functions; you may learn a thing or two from that family.
Continue to be mindful of your actions and your words when you are not in the presence of your children, and when you are in their presence, it will be much more easy to set the proper example for them. We do, after all, live in a free country and love and acceptance should be free. Should they not? I think they should.