Can you be racist at 18 months of age?
According to Indiana House Democrat Vanessa Summers, the answer is “of course.” During debate over the state’s religious freedom bill, Summers made the wild accusation that Rep. Jud McMillin’s 18-month-old little boy was already exhibiting the first signs of prejudice.
“I told Jud McMillin I love his son,” said Summers on the House floor last Monday, “but he’s scared of me because of my color.” This drew audible groans from the rest of the House, obviously dismayed that their political atmosphere had sunk to this abysmal new low. But Summers stood her ground. “It’s hard. It’s true. He looked at me like I was a monster and turned around and cried. And I told him you need to introduce your child to some people that are dark-skinned so he will not be scared.”
McMillin said Summers’ comments were “incredibly unfortunate.” Speaking out against the comments, he said, “You’d like to think that we would have professional discussion on the House floor and certainly be able to avoid having 18-month-olds in the discussion.” He insisted that his toddler acted that way around anyone new, as if any father should have to defend a child of that age against accusations of racism.
Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first time Summers has dipped her toes into racial politics. When the media jumped to criticize President Obama’s tan suit last year, she decided it would be a good idea to post a photo depicting the president in the suit along with the caption: “Be honest, conservatives – It’s not the tan suit that bothers you…it’s the tan president.”
Anyone who has ever been around a toddler knows that not all of them take well to strangers. Many kids are shy at this age, especially when it comes to adults. And if the color of Summers’ skin was a factor, what of it? A child that age doesn’t know that it’s wrong to judge people on the color of their skin. They are taking the world as it comes. It may come as a shock to Rep. Summers, but a child of 18 months has not fully digested the history of race relations in the United States. They are a little too busy learning to walk, talk, and use the potty. Maybe we can give them a little breathing room before we slam them for their white privilege.
I suppose the sins of McMillin’s son would fall under the new category of “racist microaggressions,” acts of racism done without intent to harm. By developing this category, liberals have given themselves license to accuse white people of racism even when it’s clear the offender meant no ill will. They’ve simultaneously erased the idea that black people can be racist, insisting that the only real definition of racism is “prejudice + power.” It’s unclear what kind of “power” a toddler holds over a 56-year-old state congresswoman, but those are the kinds of queries we’re not supposed to make. It’s enough that a black person was offended, a white person was the offender, the system is racist, and America is terrible. Welcome to 2015.