It hasn’t been easy for adults to understand the issues the world has faced this year. So it’s hard to imagine what life in 2020 has been like for kids. But if talking to children about a deadly disease and social distancing was a challenge for parents, explaining the last couple of weeks was another challenge entirely. There doesn’t seem to be an easy way to talk about racism to someone too young to know what hate is. And if you can’t do that, how can you explain the protests against it? Fortunately Sesame Street did what it has always done. It found a way to discuss difficult topics in a way even the youngest kids can understand.
Elmo’s dad talked to him about racial injustice and why people are protesting against it as part of CNN’s latest Town Hall special. But his explanation is a great reminder of why so many are marching to make the world a better place for everyone.
“Not all streets are like Sesame Street. … What we are seeing is people saying 'enough is enough.' They want to end racism.”@Elmo’s dad Louie explains why people are protesting across the US. https://t.co/icV04F4FNW #CNNSesameStreet pic.twitter.com/1efrMAzZ8V— CNN (@CNN) June 6, 2020
This past weekend CNN and Sesame Street teamed up for another Town Hall aimed at helping kids make sense of the world. The hour-long special Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism addressed racial inequality and the protests taking place all across America.
This effort to “build empathy and embrace diversity” included a poignant moment with Elmo and his dad, Louie. He explained to his son why citizens have taken to the street to address racial inequality.
“Through protesting people are able to share their feelings and work together to make things better,” Louie said. But Elmo wanted to know what the protesters, who look sad and upset, were angry about.
“People are upset because racism is a huge problem in our country.”
And what is racism?
“When people treat other people unfairly because of the way they look or the color of their skin.”
It’s a problem Louie said Black Americans especially face. Elmo didn’t understand why anyone would hate someone for looking different. And neither do we. But his hope is the same one we have: “Elmo wants to end racism too. Elmo wants everyone to be treated fairly.”
Sesame Street always knows just what to say.
Featured Image: Sesame Street