“That’s not the real Captain America. The real Captain America is White,” my son declared upon seeing a coloring page of Sikh Captain America.
At six years old, Adam is both very literal and very obsessed with superheroes. When Adam and his four-year-old brother play, they yell, “Hulk angry! Hulk smash!” They adopt Batman’s gravelly voice and the stoic attitude. They gravitate toward Halloween costumes with plush muscles sewn onto their tiny chests and arms. My husband and I try to speak openly with our kids about race and racism, about gender stereotypes and toxic masculinity, but I worry that our kids’ obsession with superheroes may be undermining what we are trying to teach them.