I usually only write when 2 things happen.
- I have a little time.
- I am fired up or feel very strongly about something.
Today the 2 worlds collided. I had a little bit of extra time and I got fired up. My writing is never planned.
I shared the below post on Facebook and the 3rd comment I got was from a friend of mine who is a black women about my age. Her comment stung me….paraphrasing here: “it just seems strange to you because you now have a black child in the family but honey believe me its nothing strange. They look at us like we are animals or something. Its so frustrating but now you have a black child so its something you are going to face everywhere you go no matter how much you post about it. Welcome to our world”
My comment back to her was quick and straight from the heart. I did not even hesitate the words flowed: “Jesus be near and help us see with our eyes and hearts open. Think before we speak. Love before we judge. Our dream is it can become better. Our dream is to help, teach and educate people to see people as just that. People. One people. I am so sorry. But I am going to stand against it and use any power and privilege I have to change it”
You guys this has to end. How do we continue to consider ourselves better than others because of our skin color. It tears my heart open to hear her words…I meant every word of what I said back to her. I am sure people will drop flies around me (if they haven’t already)….those that this makes uncomfortable, those that think there is no race problem, those that think they are not racist or those that don’t believe or truly understand what white privilege is. But here is where I am, here is where I stand and I believe this is Holy ground and HARD ground. But what good is our privilege if we don’t use it for good and change?
We have a book study starting at One City next week called “Waking up White” we have almost 40 people signed up! This says to me people care…people want to learn and be better. People want to dig into the hard.
Here is my facebook post:
I just need to share this. It started off in anger and frustration but now it is more out of concern and love for other multiracial families.
I am speaking specifically based off a white family with a black child. I am sure other cultures and demographics have their own battles…but my experience is solely white parents and children with a black child.
Please- and I mean PLEASE – do not come up to us, in front of our children, and ask if she/he belongs to me.
Please- in a store/restaurant full of other white families with all white kids, don’t single out my family because we have “the cute black kid” (this has been said to us) and come to up to us and ask if she is ours, or where she is from, or ask us how old she is like she can’t talk. Or tell her she is so pretty over and over again. (Which she is but she will not be defined by her skin color or her “pretty”)
Please- don’t stare at us as we walk thru a park, store, restaurant…guess what we can see you staring. Teach your children not to stare, please.
Here is why. Children that don’t look like the other people in their family are very aware that they dont look like the other people in their family. (shocking right?)
So for a total stranger to come up and bring attention to a fact that is already very evident is not only totally creepy, but it’s rude and it hurts and singles out someone who already feels different. I think this may be the part people don’t understand or think about. These children are aware, actually VERY aware, they already feel different, many struggle with attachment disorders, abandonment issues and many other things. So for a stranger to come up and point out something that is very sensitive and that the family already deals with on a daily basis is so hurtful and brings up more hurts many times.
For the biological white children it is hurtful. They feel ignored and unimportant. I cannot tell you how many times someone has came up to me and only looked at our daughter, only spoke to her, only asked her age, only asked her what grade she is going in while all my other children stand there oddly like they don’t exist. The other kids don’t say anything because they’ve been taught to be respectful, but it’s ignorant and yet again, hurtful.
Please– hear me out- share this with your kids, your families, your peers- because multiracial families are becoming more and more prevalent. If you see a multiracial family and you are curious or find their family dynamic interesting then talk to the parents AWAY from their kids. Please do not go up to them and start asking questions that may make you feel good, but unknowingly you are hurting that family, ripping off scabs that they work hard to heal or causing attachment issues to come to the surface even more. Families know by choosing foster care and adoption they are putting themselves in a position to be different and look different. We accept that but don’t single out the kids, trust me they are dealing with a lot of stuff behind the scenes, you will be unknowingly adding to it. Then still, if you have questions you must know then single out the parents privately.
There is almost always hurt and abandonment behind that “cute” multiracial family. Please respect that and imagine if you had total strangers walking up to you asking if your child belongs to you in front of them. I promise if you ask the questions away from the kids you are going to get a much more truthful and nicer answer if you really want to know. If you just think a family is cute and interesting and you feel the need to tell them, our preference is to keep that to yourself, we already know we are cute and interesting.
Think before we speak. Love before we judge.
Show up. Get to know people different than you — guess what you’ll find out — they are actually the same as you!
We’ve got to do better!