Good Apples

The Warren’s are big fans of Trevor Noah & The Daily show.

Last night we watched The Daily Show episode where he spoke about the Virginia police officer that pepper sprayed a black/Latino army officer this week.  Trevor Noah was so fired up, he continued his rant later from his phone.

The rant was entitled, “Where are all the Good Apples?”

If the system isn’t broken, but simply has “Bad Apple’s” within it…where are all the “Good Apples?”

Per Trevor Noah, “Good Apples” ARE NOT simply police officers who avoid committing racist acts of violence.  Good Apples are the ones calling out the Bad Apples for their bad behavior.  Good Apples hold others accountable for their wrong doing, because that is the only way to adjust behavior. Accountability.

When we rarely see “Good Apples” that means there’s something broken in the system (that there’s a rotten tree) that stops the good humans from stepping up to hold the “Bad Apple’s” accountable. 

Have you seen the actual footage of the incident in Virginia?

It’s SAD!  The cops had their guns pulled before approaching the car or even telling the man why he had been pulled over.  The black/Latino army officer was CALMLY PLEEDING the cop to tell him why he was stopped and what he had done wrong, as the cops forcefully pushed him to the ground.

This left Kaleif (our empathic 11 year-old) highly disturbed at bedtime.  He was SAD!

Kaleif: Why is there so much badness in the world?

Me: I’m not sure why. But you can make a difference.

Kaleif: I can?

Me: Remember how you said how good it felt when you helped pick up trash with Student Council, that it felt good to you to help others and the Earth?

Kaleif: Yes

Me: Kaleif, you’re a “Good Apple.” You have a huge heart and you care deeply.  It’s easier for you though, because you come from “Good Apples.”  Do you think it would be easy for me to be a “Good Apple” if I didn’t come from Papa & Juju, if I came from “Bad Apples”?

Kaleif: Probably not.

Me: You’re right.  And it wouldn’t be as easy for you to be a “Good Apple” if you didn’t come from “Good Apples.”  Do you think there are some kids in your school and in your class who come from “Bad Apples” but who want to be a “Good Apple?”

Kaleif: Yeah

Me: Well, the best thing you can do to help increase the “Good Apples” in the world is by continuing to be a “Good Apple.”  Kids who don’t know what it means to be a “Good Apple” can watch you and learn what it means to be good.  You don’t have to do anything but be yourself and you’re helping make some of that badness go away. 

Based on this interaction, I intuited to create the same space with Nyjah (our almost 14 year-old).

Me: How did all of that earlier make you feel?

Jacob walked in during our conversation.  We discussed the same stuff as with Kaleif, but on a teenage level.  Jacob took it a step farther though.

Jacob: I assume most of the kids in your school aren’t blatantly and intentionally racist.  Am I correct? 

Nyjah: Yes

Me: Nyjah, look at your skin.  What do you see?

Nyjah: I’m white.

Me: Do you think you see the world a bit differently than your other white friends who don’t have a brown Nana (Jacob is half Mexican American)?

Nyjah: Probably.

Me: You might see your friends being racist when they aren’t meaning to be racist.  It’s just the way they were raised and they have no idea what their saying is hurtful to others.

Jacob: So, it’s important to let them know.  Tell your friends when they are doing racist things or saying something stupid like that.  Because with the times we’re living in now, if you call someone out for doing something racist, it’s going to get their attention. 

Me: Yup.  Accountability changes behavior. When you know your friends want to do good, it’s not mean to call them out.  It’s helping them learn what it means and looks like to be a “Good Apple.”

 We need more “Good Apples” and less good people allowing the “Bad Apples” to continue spreading their rotten messages.

May we all have the tough conversations needed to help shift our world. THANK YOU to all the Good Apples!

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