The Meaning of Mariah Carey is many things — a creative outlet for the singer, a possible movie, a fun audiobook — but Carey said it has also been a good parenting tool for her lately. On Thursday night’s Watch What Happens Live, she explained to Andy Cohen that she has been reading passages to 9-year-olds Moroccan and Monroe to help them cope with their own lives as Black children in the U.S.
“[Racism] has been a struggle for me since I was aware that there was such a thing as race,” Carey told Cohen. “And the only reason I was aware so early on was because it became a subject of humiliation for me as a child.”
Growing up with a white mother and a Black father meant that she experienced both direct racism and microaggressions from teachers and friends. She described a teacher who questioned why she would draw a picture of her dad with a brown crayon, and a friend who burst into tears when she came over to Mariah’s father’s house and saw that he was Black.
Now, despite being the children of Mariah Freaking Carey, her kids sometimes face the very same issues.
“Rocky just got bullied the other day by a white supremacist person that he thought was his friend,” Carey said. “It’s, like, insane. So this is the world we live in.”
Though she has been working on The Meaning of Mariah Carey for three years and it was completely done before the period of intense racial reckoning that began in late May, Carey said she is pleased that her discussion of race feels so timely.
“Certain chapters I’m reading to them that are helping to illustrate my encounters with racism, and how they can then have a greater understanding, and ultimately a greater reservoir with which to deal with the situation itself, ’cause it’s hard,” she told Cohen.
When the Bravo host asked if she has ever been in contact with the people who were once mean to her as a child, who surely regret not becoming her absolute best friends, she said she didn’t care to. But her daughter Monroe did have a similar thought.
“It was really sweet, she goes, ‘Mommy, those girls, they feel so bad now. I bet they wish they could be your friend,’” Carey recalled. “It was so insightful for a 9-year-old girl to be able to say that. If nothing else, my kids have this to learn from.”
These other celebrity parents are teaching their children how to stand up to racism:
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