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I wouldn’t be surprised if Chuck E. Cheese ignored this little Black girl. My mother experienced the same thing as a child, and the emotional scars are still present.
Black children being ignored by mascots is nothing new. It’s been happening for decades. Now that we have the ability to record on handheld devices, it’s finally coming to light, much like police brutality or racially biased teachers.
If there is one memory my mother can’t seem to shake from her childhood, it is the time she recalls Ronald McDonald giving all the white children hive fives, hugs, and candy at a parade. She said she noticeably saw him skipping all the Black kids.
That was the 1960s in Tulsa, Oklahoma – a town that saw the worst racial terror committed against Black lives on domestic soil during the 1921 Race Massacre.
Like many little Black kids, it would be her first time experiencing rejection because of the color of her skin, the first time she experienced the R-word, racism, a word that too many White folks are trying to bury out of an unspoken collective shame.
Aside from the Candace Owens, W.T. Shannons, and Tim Scotts of America, most Black people know that intentional racism is still a reality in this country.
Chuck E. Cheese ignores little Black girl
Hence, when we saw another video of a little Black kid being purposely ignored by Chuck E Cheese, weeks after a Sesame Street character was caught ignoring two little Black girls also at a parade, all we could do was shake our heads in disapproval, but not disbelief.
An individual dressed as Chuck E. Cheese denied seeing the little girl who was excitedly jumping to attract his attention. Despite looking directly at her, Chuck E. Cheese does not pay any attention to her. He then proceeds to wave at the other White children.
The mother of the little girl informed the manager of the establishment about what had occurred, only to be ignored.
America is still full of racists
America still has a problem with racism because we allow it. Some of our politicians write and pass laws to suppress its existence. Unless we do something about it, laws that ban the discussion of it will only prolong this type of negative behavior from one generation to the next.
I often asked my mother about her early childhood, and her answer was always, “I don’t remember that much.”
But if there is one thing still present in her mind, it’s the emotional scar a White man, dressed as Ronald McDonald, gave her as a little girl.
Sadly, this little girl who was shunned by Chuck E. Cheese and the little girls shunned by Rosita, a Sesame Street character, may, in fact, carry these emotional scars for the rest of their lives, as my mother has.
Be better, America.
Call out bigotry when you see it so we can continue to aim toward our greatest potential.