BrightSide and I met in Charlottesville.
We were both twenty and living in that University bubble. Life being what it is I bumped into BrightSide with some baggage, but by some miracle he liked me in all my nuttiness anyway.
When we go back to visit I can still feel the thrill of being young, free, and accountable only to ourselves.
“Do you have these cups? Everyone I know has these cups…I can’t help from paying attention to which color I’m giving to the kids. I know, I know, I’m not supposed to teach them that color matters, and I’m just supposed to grab the two cups from the top of the pile and put them on the table without thinking about it. But I don’t.
Because do you know what happens when I put the pink cup down in front of my son? A shitstorm of monumental proportions. And I can try to reason with him and tell him color doesn’t matter, but by this point he’s wailing and past the point of no return and he’d rather die of thirst.”
Should we talk to our kids about race? – Baby Sideburns
If you’ll bear with me for one moment, I’ve gotta do a bit of shameless mama bragging on these kids o’ mine.
These babes are the bomb diggity. They’re smart, funny, talented, and beautiful by any measure. When they’re unhappy it’s palpable. When they’re happy, joy radiates from them like warmth from the sun.
A beautifully written insight into interracial marriage in America.
“The fact that I am in an interracial relationship isn’t something that I think about a lot. It helps that I am as white-washed as Dan is yellow-washed…But the truth is that Dan will always be white, even when his Mandarin is better than his English. And I will always be Asian, even though my English has always been better than my Mandarin. Since we’ve gotten married, I haven’t really thought that much about being in an interracial marriage, but I have begun to realize what it means to be married to a white guy. When I say white guy, I don’t mean any Caucasian male. I mean white, upper-middle class, American, possibly Jewish guy who was born to a mom who baked and a dad who raked the yard and who had 1.5 siblings.”
When You’re Married to a White Guy | Rebecca Cao
“The real differences around the world today are not between Jews and Arabs; Protestants and Catholics; Muslims, Croats, and Serbs. The real differences are between those who embrace peace and those who would destroy it; between those who look to the future and those who cling to the past; between those who open their arms and those who are determined to clench their fists.”
– William J. Clinton, 1997
This is more true today than it’s ever been. Labels are shouted from the rooftops – religion, race, who we love, who we should hate – all with one aim. Division.
You cannot dream of peace while denouncing an entire group of people. You cannot look to the future if you are determined to stand still, feet planted in sour soil with firmly downcast eyes. You cannot lay claim to Christian love and forgiveness while your actions are incendiary, exclusionary, and dismissive.
But I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. More and more people are stepping out of the shadows, determined to stand up and say, “We are better than this.” And we are. We are better than this.
We just have to expect it of one another.
My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.
If you visited the blog yesterday you know this has been an intense week. Frankly, I’ve downed a lot of Advil and done more than my fair share of stress eating, neither of which really fixed what ailed me. Beer didn’t help either. That’s what I get for trying to self-medicate.
Bee recently talked about what it’s like to live in redneckia and it made me laugh. Then it made me cringe. Then laugh again. Because sometimes the world is so freaking distressing, so overwhelmingly frustrating and infuriating, that my only coping mechanism is to find humor in the macabre. Which is certainly how I categorize the racist sh*t we’ve run into over the last three years or so.
You might want to skip this one if you’re looking for the typical lighthearted RFTM fare, or you could play whirl-a-post. I get it, sometimes you just want a fun read, so if that’s the case just go down the right hand side of your screen and click a tag or visit the Greatest Hits page. But don’t expect me to bring the snark today.
The KKK sucked it right out of me.
Bear and I used to read The Colors of Us by Karen Katz together. She’d ask to hear it almost every day.
“My name is Lena, and I am seven.
I am the color of cinnamon.
Mom says she could eat me up.”
Lena wanted to paint a picture of herself, but her mom pointed out that brown isn’t merely brown. Bear would ooh and aah as she turned the pages, absorbing the medley of shades in Lena’s neighborhood.
The children’s picture book took a simple approach, describing each character’s skin tone as something the main character understood…french toast, honey, butterscotch, peanut butter, chocolate cupcakes, nutmeg. Bear would point excitedly at a page and name someone she knew who looked like that. She never tired of naming which skin tone was hers, and it was her favorite game to match people we knew to characters in the book.
The book’s message is clear: brown is not simply brown. Brown is a palette. Brown is beautiful in a hundred ways.