Man Explains How People In An Airport Enjoyed 'A Kid Being A Kid' But Only Because The Child Didn't Look Like Him

This is the sad reality of the world we live in.

Najja Sadiki explaining the kid being a kid TikTok @iamnajjasadiki / TikTok

A man named Najja Sadiki recently went on TikTok to discuss something he witnessed at JFK International Airport that made him realize a certain level of inequality in public perception.

While waiting for his flight after it was delayed, Sadiki noticed a 4 or 5-year-old child playing around with his teddy bear at the window, climbing up the ledges and bringing his bear with him. Watching in amazement, and noticing everyone else watching in amazement, he realized something that resulted in an internalized frustration with the way society sees the world.


Sadiki shared why he feels Black children are not allowed the same grace to just be kids.



Sadiki went through several moments of realization while watching this 5-year-old. The first one came from the realization that everyone in the terminal was just as equally in awe while watching the kid work on climbing the window.


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“I'm watching this process go on, and I'm not gonna lie, I'm very amazed. I'm like, wow, this kid is so adventurous,” he explains in his video. “I look, and I catch eyes with the dad, and the dad's kind of smiling. And everything in my father nature is like, ‘Wow, just let this kid be a kid in the middle of this airport. Let this kid be a kid.’”



There’s something to be said about the feeling you get when you see kids being kids and having fun. Their childhood innocence is euphoric — their experiences aren’t hardened by the experiences of being an adult and their creativity is flowing freely. Seeing kids have fun and live carefree is incredibly, and probably heightened for the parents of those children.


Sadiki explains that everyone in the terminal was equally entranced… until they weren’t. “But then this hits me — this notion hits me. Like, I peep the Black family next to me, and [they] kind of [have] the exact same thought I'm having. Like, ‘s--t, our kids can't do that.’”

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Sadiki speaks to an internalized frustration that the Black people around him shared.

He explains more in-depth what exactly is happening. That the kid, while playing, falls and makes a huge scene but gets back up and continues going thanks to the encouragement of his father — but Sadiki recognizes that his kid wouldn’t be able to get away with that. Or at least, he wouldn’t be able to get away with letting his kid do that.

“I'm watching this whole process go on, and I'm thinking to myself, wow, all of these people are seeing this. In the beauty of what it is, A kid being a kid. But if he was Black,” he explains. “And we were all like, this kid's cool, but at the same time, we're getting this, like, internalized frustration with the fact that we know d--n well that our children could not do that.”


He believes that the moment that a white child is replaced with a Black child, the thoughts would turn from amazement and wonder to “that child is misbehaving” or “Where are the parents to control this child?”

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As the whole terminal continued to watch this child, and cheered when he succeeded in his mission of retrieving the teddy bear from the next ledge up on the tilted window pane, Sadiki watched as every single Black family thought to themselves that they could never do that.

“It broke my heart at the notion that as Black parents, we police our child, our children, at a greater level because of what racism has afforded,” he says. “The perception of our kids' behavior as just misbehaving. Just a sad reality.”


It is a sad reality, and many people in the comments just as quickly said that they would actually think the opposite and claimed that the white child was misbehaving. However, even that is a product of the way their parenting style has been molded by the perceptions of society.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor for YourTango who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.