“Whenever a protest occurs, Dr. King’s method of non-violence is the measuring stick. If said protest turns into a riot (i.e. Ferguson and Baltimore), then I guarantee I will hear/read, ‘MLK would not be pleased with this. These people should be peaceful. That’s how MLK got things done.’ These folks completely ignore that Dr. King said, ‘A riot is the language of the unheard.’ “
“My father is black and my mother is white. While a proud, graying natural sits atop my father’s head, the genetic crapshoot of their interracial union left my hair absent of his tight curls; left my skin shades lighter. As a result, I floated in this limbo of racial ambiguity that sparked questions of identity for me far too early, and that have lingered far too long. As a child, into adolescence, and even into early adulthood, it left me feeling as other, in a constant search for where I belonged. I did not want that for my children.”
There’s a mama or papa bear in all of us, and it comes roaring to the surface when our kids get targeted.
“This is why we fight for our children. We fight for a better world. My readers may remember the challenges that Carl was facing in middle school. There were children calling him a “taco.” They called him “brownie.” They threatened to send him “back over the wall” to Mexico.
Carl was bewildered. “But I’m Puerto Rican!” he kept saying. “I was born in Massachusetts!” “
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“3. Teach her how to celebrate herself.
Your daughter should know how to brag without guilt or shame. Teach her that she has to make no apologies for her strength, her skills, or the things that she is most proud of about herself. She may not receive the acknowledgments she deserves from society, but that shouldn’t stop her from feeling amazing about herself!”
“I slept until 11:00AM! Instant panic on my part. Was Carl OK?!…Thank goodness my husband was awake to care for Carl in the morning and meet his needs. It doesn’t matter that Carl is 11 and not 5 anymore. This can set off the trigger alarm.
You see, my kids come from a home with a junkie mom. She was an addict. She had mental health conditions. She would go to bed and not get up for weeks. Sometimes she would lock the kids out of her bedroom and let them take care of themselves. Mary was 4 and Carl was 5 when they were removed from her care during a drug raid.”
“White privilege is a difficult concept. It can cause a lot of confusion and defensiveness. In the diversity class I teach to graduate students, this topic is more heated than any other topic we touch on. Similarly, this week I’ve seen people pushing back against the idea of white privilege as if it’s an indictment that they are a racist (it’s not.) I even watched a blogger (who is white) criticize my friend Kelly (who is black) for her suggestion that people confront their white privilege. The blogger suggested that Kelly called white people “white supremacists”…as if “white privilege” and “white supremacists” were interchangeable terms (they’re not.) Confusion abounds when we talk about white privilege, and I think it’s confusion that often leads to offense at the term.”
One biracial man’s views on the fallacy of a post-racial America. Pure, thought provoking, honest, and brave. Please take a few minutes to read his story, then share it with your friends.
“…when it comes time for them to attend school, will my sons be confronted with that same question: What are you? And when they answer, will they be doubted…?
That kind of doubt and disbelief can run deep in a child. I know, because I experienced that disbelief, no matter how loudly I protested. I didn’t dress right, I didn’t talk right, no way was I “mixed” with black. As a child, more than anything you want to belong, and so the constant disbelief and invalidation of your identity wears you down, to the point where you don’t want to argue anymore, where you almost begin to question it yourself.”
We’ve had a whole lotta flag talk going around lately. Folks jawing about disrespecting the flag and our country…other folks jawing about the country our flag represents disrespecting human rights and basic freedoms.
Where do you fall?
“Let’s fast forward a bit from those childhood days of mine, to a few years ago. I had a neighbor and she flew an American flag in front of her house…Sally flew her flag proudly. She was very vocal about her patriotism. Home of the free because of the brave, and all that jazz. One day, Sally got a new next door neighbor. This neighbor was part of the American dream, coming from another country and establishing roots in the neighborhood, starting a flourishing local business.
I’ll call this new neighbor Lou. At first, she was excited about Lou moving in. ‘Oh, yeah, you know Lou? He runs the so and so store down the corner! He’s great!’ So, cool. Lou is great…
Not long after Lou moved in, so did his wife, a hijab wearing Muslim from a middle eastern country. The exact same middle eastern country Lou is from, but I guess that didn’t matter until a woman in a hijab moved in with him, because that’s when Sally’s talk of “terror cells” began and never ceased.”
“Alex Landau, who is African-American, was adopted by a white couple as a child and grew up in largely white, middle-class suburbs of Denver…
“I thought that love would conquer all and skin color really didn’t matter,” Hathaway says. “I had to learn the really hard way when they almost killed you.”
That was in 2009, when Landau, then a college student, was stopped by Denver police officers and severely beaten.”
“So, what does white privilege have to do with adoption, specifically transracial adoption? Matt and I stepped into the adoption world extremely quickly. In fact, it was more like a dive. I didn’t have time nor did I realize how much I still needed to educate myself. Basically, I did everything backwards from how I wish I did it. So for my friends that are looking and in the process to adopt, here are some things I wish I would have known about transracial adoptions.”
“I took the kids to the park the other day, and I was seated just close enough to the play structure that I could faintly overhear a conversation that occurred between Kembe and several older kids. At first, I had a hard time understanding what was being said, but something about Kembe’s posture caught my attention. Typically, he’s a relatively cocky over-confident kid with a lot of swagger, even around older kids. But in this setting he looked . . . almost cornered. He seemed intimidated and a bit helpless. As I strained to hear, I though I heard one of the kids saying, “That is NOT your real mom.” “
“Some things are easy to identify with being adopted, things like being little and hiding away crying because I wasn’t kept, and that there had to be something terribly wrong with me that others could see, but I couldn’t. Those type of feelings that are specific to being adopted are what people not adopted seem able to accept…
What people can’t seem to grasp are the more subtle connections to being adopted that they dance around, try to explain away, can’t accept it could possibly have a basis in that event that happened when we were mere babies.
But it does, perhaps only in part, but nevertheless, it is related to being adopted.”
“It happened again.
People who know us forgot that I was his mother.
I am white. My son is Black. This is a tremendous invisible burden for him. Being asked to explain yourself or justify yourself as an adoptee is called “narrative burden.” It’s not fair to him, but it is his albatross.”