Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 47 seconds

Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Disturbing & Heartwarming Nursery Rhymes: Racism & Disability

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Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 47 seconds

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I get to watch and listen to a lot of nursery rhymes all over YouTube with my daughter. As an educator and critical pedagogue, I find myself noticing certain things… maybe all moms notice them, they probably do.

So here is something that really disturbed me. It’s a video of London Bridge, but unlike the lyrics I am used to, when you reach the middle of the video (around min 1:40) you get a prisoner (“I have” it says in the song here) who stole something from the fair lady. Why is it disturbing? He’s dark-skinned. REALLY? They had to do that? What are they teaching kids about race when they do something like this?

On the other hand, we stumbled upon a really heartwarming show (I’m not sure if all the shows are like this because my daughter insists on watching the same episode) called “Something Special”

I love it because it teaches sign language along the way (and I know this is a complex thing, but now my daughter knows a few signs and I like it gimmicky as it sounds), uses sign language (so addresses kids with hearing-impairment) and stars a couple of girls with Downe’s syndrome. In the sign language practice part, I think the kids teaching us are themselves kids with hearing impairments (based on the way they pronounce words). Now, I haven’t seen other episodes, so maybe other episodes have more interaction with kids who do not have disabilities; rather than just non-disabled adults interacting with children with disabilities… They might even have successful adults with disabilities. Those would be good to see. Maybe they’re already out there.

I am gonna go off topic for a minute here because I also remembered this article “Where’s the Diversity Hollywood?” which uses a really striking infographic to show how few People of Color and women are protagonists  in Sci Fi and Fantasy movies. They make a good point but their methodology is really strange. I wish they had done it differently or more openly.

time to go…

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