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Straight Talk for Teens Racism alive and (un)well, to dismay of shocked teen

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Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013 7:13 am

Dear Straight Talk: I’m 16. My cousins, adopted from Kenya, ages 14 and 15, are visiting. I never figured my friends were prejudiced, but my best friend says she isn’t “comfortable” staying the night “right now” (they are staying in my room). We often have sleepovers with several girls in this room, so this makes no sense. Some other friends say it’s because my cousins are black. I am in shock! How do I deal with this? — Anaheim

Justin, 25, Redding: What? I thought we’d figured out that the melanin content of one’s skin doesn’t matter. Ask her what bothers her about darker skin. Don't be emotional or she will feel attacked and fight back. Instead, be kind, calm and logical. Use the opportunity to help her grow. If you cut her out, she will just continue this illogical behavior.

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