As racial injustice and police brutality dominate the national conversation, “Fowl Language Comics” artist Brian Gordon has decided to use his platform to show solidarity with the Black community and guide other non-Black parents who are navigating these issues with their children.
On June 3, the artist shared a comic about explaining non-peaceful protests to kids, who may see imagery in the news that they don’t understand.
“I think that for parents, a very real part of any national crisis, and especially this one, is explaining it to our kids,” Gordon told HuffPost. “The act of writing and drawing this comic was also an act of figuring out how I could do that.”
He emphasized that children are not too young to talk about racism and standing up for what’s right ― especially considering that children of color don’t have the privilege to avoid these conversations.
“It’s important to me that we don’t sugarcoat things ― the act of doing that among white people is why things have never been fixed,” explained Gordon, who is white. “It’s time to face the problem head-on, and since our kids will be part of that, we need to be honest with them. This comic is just a real reflection of the kinds of conversations we’ve been having at our house.”
On Monday, Gordon shared a follow-up comic about becoming anti-racist.
Gordon said his family has been donating money and finding other ways to support racial justice organizations. They’ve also focused on educating themselves.
“My wife and I read a lot, both news articles and books, and every day, we regroup to talk about what we’ve learned and how we can contribute to the solution,” he said. “With the kids, we make sure that we emphasize why this is so important on a daily basis. They need to realize that in the midst of what feels like a lazy summer for them, it’s actually a truly horrific time in our nation’s history.”
Beyond educating their children, Gordon and his wife are also working to raise upstanders ― people who take action and stand up for others when they recognize something is wrong.
“We talk about how to speak up when we see injustice,” he noted. “Our daughter recently explained to someone online why ‘All Lives Matter’ is a bad thing to say, all on her own. And she’s 10, so I think it’s starting to sink in for them.”
Still, he added, raising anti-racist kids and combating injustice is a life-long commitment, not something to check off a checklist.
“I’m hoping these conversations with our kids grow deeper and more meaningful as time goes on, and that they’ll start to see how they can help in more tangible ways,” he said. “We’ve all got a lot of work to do, on ourselves and in our community, and we’re just getting started.”