Dear Editor,

I am a single mother of three intelligent, wonderful children and it is my goal to complete my college degree. In doing this, child care is a must. Daycare should be a place where I can trust that my children are safe and being cared for by employees who have been through extensive background checks and who also have values that are against prejudice and racism.
I must say that I totally believe in freedom of expression and the right to acknowledge any entity to which a person chooses to believe. I am in no way trying to take away the rights of anyone who chooses to exercise their first amendment right. However, I do not find it acceptable for businesses who offer services to consumers on a personal aspect, and claim that all people are welcome, the display of any racial bias should not be accepted.
Daycares are responsible for the people they choose to hire to care for the children that they facilitate. On May 17 I went to enroll my children at Catch-A-Star Learning Center in Macomb, and I left with a heavy heart. I parked next to a car that had a bumper sticker that was half American flag and half Confederate flag. I was met outside by a female employee with paperwork that I had requested by phone. The woman said that she didn’t want to trouble me to bring in my two children because she noticed me putting them into a double stroller. She asked if I just wanted the paperwork that I had requested or if I’d like a tour of the facility. I told her I would like a tour, but before I accepted her offer on the tour, I felt that it was necessary to ask about the car stamped with the Confederate flag.
I was hoping that she would say that she didn’t know who the car belonged to. Unfortunately, she said that the car belonged to an employee of the daycare. As if the sticker of the flag wasn’t offensive enough, she began to make excuses for the car owner: “I’ve never noticed it,” “I think she bought the car used,” “It’s her boyfriend’s car.” None of those statements provided any comfort that the people employed at this facility have no racial bias.
The Confederate flag is a representation of slavery and oppression. In 2018, I find the Confederate flag to be very offensive. A number of states in the US have banned the display and selling of the Confederate flag. That alone says that the Confederate flag has negative symbolism. I was at a loss for words when the supervisor of the daycare said, “I’m more concerned with watching the kids than I am with watching the cars.” As if it is not her responsibility to be mindful of people who are watching the kids.
Those who offer their services to the public, such as child care workers, need to consider how flying this flag is offensive. There should be training set in place by all facilities that deal with the general public about racial bias. I would suggest that if the employee does not wish to remove the sticker, then park the car away from the daycare lot. I would also suggest that if the employee of the daycare does have a negative opinion of people of different races, then find a job in a private setting that does not involve parents of all kinds to trust you with their children.

Brittney S. Griffin
Macomb