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post #41 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
What about Franklin D. Roosevelt? He was in a wheelchair.
I was just thinking that when the pp said that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy View Post
Please, try to stay with me here. I'm very tired. I'm going on limited sleep. We were at the final Obama rally in Virginia on Monday and didn't get home until nearly 2 am; we worked the polls all day Tuesday and couldn't sleep again until 2 or 3 am...I will try to be coherent. And, I will try to stay calm. Both, at the moment, might be a little difficult.

My children do not have the luxury of being colorblind. My little boys (ages 9 and 6) have looked at the pictures of the last 43 presidents and noticed that none look like them. They know that Barack Obama is the *only* Black senator (there's not as much diversity on the Hill as we'd like to think) They know that we had presidents who owned slaves. They know that mommy and daddy couldn't have gotten married in Virginia 45 years ago. They know that there are people who don't like them simply because their skin is darker, and that sometimes, things aren't quite fair...simply because their skin is darker.

Last night, my daughter and I went to a victory party. We were happily eating buffalo wings, cheering lightly as the Dems got one seat after another. Then, they called Virginia for Obama. I stood up. I cheered. I screamed. And then I started sobbing. I had to sit down. Virginia. Virginia voted for a Black man.

The first slaves arrived in Virginia. The capital of the Confederacy is in Virginia. There were school systems that completely closed down for years so they wouldn't have to integrate. We had a senator who hung a noose from a tree in his office and pretended it was a lasso. There's still a slave block in the town where I grew up, about a block away from where Sarah Palin recently held a rally.

My husband and I were threatened when we started dating in high school. My parents were threatened. My last name, my married name, is the same as the man, the plantation owner, known in Virginia as "King Carter". Guess why.

So I cried. Then they called it for the nation, almost immediately, and the man next to me collapsed in tears. And my 13-year-old daughter suddenly stopped cheering, and just stood there, with tears streaming down her face. Because she knows exactly what this means.

This is beyond huge. To not acknowledge the significance of this election, to pretend it's "normal", does a massive disservice to this country, to Barack Obama, to the people who died not just so Obama could become president but so he could simply receive an education, and to--yes--my children. Who didn't have the chance nor the choice to be "colorblind".

Let your children celebrate the whole of this election.
Thank you.
post #42 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy View Post
Please, try to stay with me here. I'm very tired. I'm going on limited sleep. We were at the final Obama rally in Virginia on Monday and didn't get home until nearly 2 am; we worked the polls all day Tuesday and couldn't sleep again until 2 or 3 am...I will try to be coherent. And, I will try to stay calm. Both, at the moment, might be a little difficult.

My children do not have the luxury of being colorblind. My little boys (ages 9 and 6) have looked at the pictures of the last 43 presidents and noticed that none look like them. They know that Barack Obama is the *only* Black senator (there's not as much diversity on the Hill as we'd like to think) They know that we had presidents who owned slaves. They know that mommy and daddy couldn't have gotten married in Virginia 45 years ago. They know that there are people who don't like them simply because their skin is darker, and that sometimes, things aren't quite fair...simply because their skin is darker.

Last night, my daughter and I went to a victory party. We were happily eating buffalo wings, cheering lightly as the Dems got one seat after another. Then, they called Virginia for Obama. I stood up. I cheered. I screamed. And then I started sobbing. I had to sit down. Virginia. Virginia voted for a Black man.

The first slaves arrived in Virginia. The capital of the Confederacy is in Virginia. There were school systems that completely closed down for years so they wouldn't have to integrate. We had a senator who hung a noose from a tree in his office and pretended it was a lasso. There's still a slave block in the town where I grew up, about a block away from where Sarah Palin recently held a rally.

My husband and I were threatened when we started dating in high school. My parents were threatened. My last name, my married name, is the same as the man, the plantation owner, known in Virginia as "King Carter". Guess why.

So I cried. Then they called it for the nation, almost immediately, and the man next to me collapsed in tears. And my 13-year-old daughter suddenly stopped cheering, and just stood there, with tears streaming down her face. Because she knows exactly what this means.

This is beyond huge. To not acknowledge the significance of this election, to pretend it's "normal", does a massive disservice to this country, to Barack Obama, to the people who died not just so Obama could become president but so he could simply receive an education, and to--yes--my children. Who didn't have the chance nor the choice to be "colorblind".

Let your children celebrate the whole of this election.
Missy.

I'm crying again for about the millionth time today. It's a great day to be an American. A great day.
post #43 of 145
i agree 100% with what lotusdebi said.
i absolutely educate my 5 year old about the significance of president elect barak obama. he witnesses and feels the emotions around him. he witnessed thousands of people peacfully and lovingly cheering obamas name. he deserves to know the power of that kind of pride hope and peace.
and he knows we are all shades of brown and
he takes great pride in calling his skin the color of ginger.
there are many childrens book for toddlers that discuss racism and slavery and the civil rights movement etc....
obama IS the first black(elect) president of the united states . i want my son to be able to remember this time. i want my son to celebrate all things that connect people. to know what real compassion feels like. how lucky for him to grow up in an america where people are judged by the content of their character and not their skin.
post #44 of 145
I absolutely educated all my children - aged 3, 6 & 8, on why it was so significant that Obama is black and got elected.

We've spent months studying American history. From the genocide to the natives, to slavery, to the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War, the Civil Rights movement, to today.

I think if anything is going to change in this country and the world, we have a responsibility to educate our children about the significance of this election. To ignore the fact that Obama is elected as an AA man is to minimize the suffering of millions of people who came before him. It is to deny the terrible things that we - the white man - did to others.

I think people really underestimate the ability of young children to understand these issues. The more we educate, the more chance we have of moving forward and ending the racism that has meant that this was not 'just a normal' election result.

My kids really get it, and I am proud of that. I personally am deeply ashamed and troubled by what my country did in the past. I think that one of the reasons that racism continues to thrive in this country is that history is glossed over and people believe that children should not be troubled with the truth. This means that white children fail to understand that they are generally enormously priviliged, and black children continue to feel that to not succeed can only be due to lack of true effort, not due to lack of opportunity.

This subject fires me up. I'm tired and I'm not sure that I'm being clear, but I urge any parent to go talk to their children about why it is significant that Obama is black, and to take pride in the fact that their country took a major step yesterday in starting to eliminate racism.
post #45 of 145
Missy, your post made me weepy. My daughter is only 5 months old, but we saved the front page of the newspaper for her yesterday, because this happened the year she was born & this is HUGE (& we're not even American!)
post #46 of 145
This is huge, of course I'm going to teach and explain the meaning of this election to my kids (3 & 6), I firmly believe that this will bring change not only for the USA but for the world - I just hope we all don't expect too much from him, but I sort of can't help it (and we're not american either!!), the significance is enormous and my kids need to know about it.
PS Missy - I loved you post - thank you
post #47 of 145
I am intentionally NOT saying anything about the first black president. My kids view it as completely normal, and I feel like I'd be a fool to change that impression now. I think the foundation of assuming everyone is the same is more important for them now, and will make it more meaningful to build on that with an understanding of how wrong slavery, segregation, etc. was.
post #48 of 145
The last time Indiana (and quite a few other states) went to the democrat was Johnson--who subsequently convinced Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Those states voting in a child of interracial marriage is HUGE.
post #49 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy View Post
Please, try to stay with me here. I'm very tired. I'm going on limited sleep. We were at the final Obama rally in Virginia on Monday and didn't get home until nearly 2 am; we worked the polls all day Tuesday and couldn't sleep again until 2 or 3 am...I will try to be coherent. And, I will try to stay calm. Both, at the moment, might be a little difficult.

My children do not have the luxury of being colorblind. My little boys (ages 9 and 6) have looked at the pictures of the last 43 presidents and noticed that none look like them. They know that Barack Obama is the *only* Black senator (there's not as much diversity on the Hill as we'd like to think) They know that we had presidents who owned slaves. They know that mommy and daddy couldn't have gotten married in Virginia 45 years ago. They know that there are people who don't like them simply because their skin is darker, and that sometimes, things aren't quite fair...simply because their skin is darker.

Last night, my daughter and I went to a victory party. We were happily eating buffalo wings, cheering lightly as the Dems got one seat after another. Then, they called Virginia for Obama. I stood up. I cheered. I screamed. And then I started sobbing. I had to sit down. Virginia. Virginia voted for a Black man.

The first slaves arrived in Virginia. The capital of the Confederacy is in Virginia. There were school systems that completely closed down for years so they wouldn't have to integrate. We had a senator who hung a noose from a tree in his office and pretended it was a lasso. There's still a slave block in the town where I grew up, about a block away from where Sarah Palin recently held a rally.

My husband and I were threatened when we started dating in high school. My parents were threatened. My last name, my married name, is the same as the man, the plantation owner, known in Virginia as "King Carter". Guess why.

So I cried. Then they called it for the nation, almost immediately, and the man next to me collapsed in tears. And my 13-year-old daughter suddenly stopped cheering, and just stood there, with tears streaming down her face. Because she knows exactly what this means.

This is beyond huge. To not acknowledge the significance of this election, to pretend it's "normal", does a massive disservice to this country, to Barack Obama, to the people who died not just so Obama could become president but so he could simply receive an education, and to--yes--my children. Who didn't have the chance nor the choice to be "colorblind".

Let your children celebrate the whole of this election.
:
I'm not a big smiley user but:

: ::::
post #50 of 145
Thank you Missy and Swim:

I just have to say I don't have the luxury to ignore race or put it off for a later date. People and other children have put the question to my kids when they were small. In some social circles we are the diversity and other kids openly ask why you are different. One of my son's friends wanted to nurse from me (they were 2 years old) because she thought I made chocolate milk.
Neither do I want my children to not embrace the significance of Obama's election as the First black president. This country not only has a history, but continues to promote ideas within the media, policies (racial profiling) and a host of misconceptions that show black people in a negative light.
I don't want my children to be colorblind. I want my children to know the beauty in variety of humanity. To respect and appreciate others and their cultures. A homogeneous world would be quite boring in my opinion.

Obviously we are looking at this from different perspectives. Mine however doesn't permit me to downplay the meaning of this. And if anyone looked at the faces especially of older black people on TV when the announcement was made, you might see the acknowledgement in their eyes. That can not be ignored.
post #51 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy View Post
Please, try to stay with me here. I'm very tired. I'm going on limited sleep. We were at the final Obama rally in Virginia on Monday and didn't get home until nearly 2 am; we worked the polls all day Tuesday and couldn't sleep again until 2 or 3 am...I will try to be coherent. And, I will try to stay calm. Both, at the moment, might be a little difficult.

My children do not have the luxury of being colorblind. My little boys (ages 9 and 6) have looked at the pictures of the last 43 presidents and noticed that none look like them. They know that Barack Obama is the *only* Black senator (there's not as much diversity on the Hill as we'd like to think) They know that we had presidents who owned slaves. They know that mommy and daddy couldn't have gotten married in Virginia 45 years ago. They know that there are people who don't like them simply because their skin is darker, and that sometimes, things aren't quite fair...simply because their skin is darker.

Last night, my daughter and I went to a victory party. We were happily eating buffalo wings, cheering lightly as the Dems got one seat after another. Then, they called Virginia for Obama. I stood up. I cheered. I screamed. And then I started sobbing. I had to sit down. Virginia. Virginia voted for a Black man.

The first slaves arrived in Virginia. The capital of the Confederacy is in Virginia. There were school systems that completely closed down for years so they wouldn't have to integrate. We had a senator who hung a noose from a tree in his office and pretended it was a lasso. There's still a slave block in the town where I grew up, about a block away from where Sarah Palin recently held a rally.

My husband and I were threatened when we started dating in high school. My parents were threatened. My last name, my married name, is the same as the man, the plantation owner, known in Virginia as "King Carter". Guess why.

So I cried. Then they called it for the nation, almost immediately, and the man next to me collapsed in tears. And my 13-year-old daughter suddenly stopped cheering, and just stood there, with tears streaming down her face. Because she knows exactly what this means.

This is beyond huge. To not acknowledge the significance of this election, to pretend it's "normal", does a massive disservice to this country, to Barack Obama, to the people who died not just so Obama could become president but so he could simply receive an education, and to--yes--my children. Who didn't have the chance nor the choice to be "colorblind".

Let your children celebrate the whole of this election.
Quote:
Originally Posted by swimswamswum View Post
But the significance of his presidency, what makes it historic, isn't because of the biological manifestation that is his skin color. It's about the historical significance of what it means to be a black (or brown, if you have to be specific) person in the United States.

Choosing to "not see race" or only see it as a biological manifestation (which it is, but it's also much, much more) is a byproduct of white privilege. People of color cannot just decide that the color of their skin doesn't matter. It does- it matters in how they have been treated. It matters in how their parents and ancestors were treated. It influences just about every part of their life. It shouldn't but it does.

I don't think we are doing our children any favors when we (and when I say we I mean fellow white people) decide that race doesn't matter. We can think that it shouldn't matter. But to declare that it doesn't is grossly dismissive of the realities that people of color face and have faced. It dismisses all of the insidious racism that permeates every institution- our schools, the justice system, the media, banking, housing, you name it.

I have never heard a person of color say that race doesn't matter. It's always white people who claim this. I think that we need to start listening more and really honoring the experiences of others. It's laudable to want to raise anti-racist children. I am striving to do that. The way we do that is to acknowledge, listen and learn, not to dismiss and pretend that the social implications of race don't exist. I am teaching DD that there is no biological basis for race, but that the social hierarchies built around it are very real and very powerful.
I had to quote yo both because both of these posts speak so clearly to the heart of this matter.

I've been struggling with how to being it up. My oldest is only 4 and we've never discussed race. We haven't "had" to as of yet. It can be hard to let go of that luxury of innocence when your small child lives in a world that never has had a reason to know that people can be mean and ugly and hurtful and unfair. But these posts spell out clearly why it's so important to let my children grow up just a little bit more this week.
post #52 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yinsum View Post
Neither do I want my children to not embrace the significance of Obama's election as the First black president. This country not only has a history, but continues to promote ideas within the media, policies (racial profiling) and a host of misconceptions that show black people in a negative light.
I don't want my children to be colorblind. I want my children to know the beauty in variety of humanity. To respect and appreciate others and their cultures. A homogeneous world would be quite boring in my opinion.

Obviously we are looking at this from different perspectives. Mine however doesn't permit me to downplay the meaning of this. And if anyone looked at the faces especially of older black people on TV when the announcement was made, you might see the acknowledgement in their eyes. That can not be ignored.
Exactly.
post #53 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy View Post
Please, try to stay with me here. I'm very tired. I'm going on limited sleep. We were at the final Obama rally in Virginia on Monday and didn't get home until nearly 2 am; we worked the polls all day Tuesday and couldn't sleep again until 2 or 3 am...I will try to be coherent. And, I will try to stay calm. Both, at the moment, might be a little difficult.

My children do not have the luxury of being colorblind. My little boys (ages 9 and 6) have looked at the pictures of the last 43 presidents and noticed that none look like them. They know that Barack Obama is the *only* Black senator (there's not as much diversity on the Hill as we'd like to think) They know that we had presidents who owned slaves. They know that mommy and daddy couldn't have gotten married in Virginia 45 years ago. They know that there are people who don't like them simply because their skin is darker, and that sometimes, things aren't quite fair...simply because their skin is darker.

Last night, my daughter and I went to a victory party. We were happily eating buffalo wings, cheering lightly as the Dems got one seat after another. Then, they called Virginia for Obama. I stood up. I cheered. I screamed. And then I started sobbing. I had to sit down. Virginia. Virginia voted for a Black man.

The first slaves arrived in Virginia. The capital of the Confederacy is in Virginia. There were school systems that completely closed down for years so they wouldn't have to integrate. We had a senator who hung a noose from a tree in his office and pretended it was a lasso. There's still a slave block in the town where I grew up, about a block away from where Sarah Palin recently held a rally.

My husband and I were threatened when we started dating in high school. My parents were threatened. My last name, my married name, is the same as the man, the plantation owner, known in Virginia as "King Carter". Guess why.

So I cried. Then they called it for the nation, almost immediately, and the man next to me collapsed in tears. And my 13-year-old daughter suddenly stopped cheering, and just stood there, with tears streaming down her face. Because she knows exactly what this means.

This is beyond huge. To not acknowledge the significance of this election, to pretend it's "normal", does a massive disservice to this country, to Barack Obama, to the people who died not just so Obama could become president but so he could simply receive an education, and to--yes--my children. Who didn't have the chance nor the choice to be "colorblind".

Let your children celebrate the whole of this election.
your post put tears in my eyes. part of me comes from a native american bloodline and your post spoke to my heart. thank you mama.
post #54 of 145
Missy- I am sitting here at my desk in my Middle School Classroom that is filled with youngsters of various backgrounds all day long; White, black, native american, Muslim, Asian, Hispanic, Mixed Races of all sorts, just in tears at the beauty and power of what you said. I have tried to use this election to show my students just how far our nation has come (though I got in trouble for letting the kids know I was an Obama supporter) We read about the 114 woman in CA that is the daughter of slaves, talked about her seeing women and blacks gain the right to vote and how amazing it must be for her to have been able to vote for our nations first black president. We have discussed the fact that the United States is not a Nation of White Men and that our government needs to reflect the population more accurately. We have discussed, yes my group of kids from so many different back grounds living in one of the largest cities in Ohio, the doors that are being opened everyday to all of them. Thank You.
post #55 of 145
As to my own kids, they know a bit, we really should discuss it more. I too have been caught between wanting them to continue their innate understanding of the fact that everyone is a valued member of society and knowing that there are people who do not feel that way. That we all live in our communities and on our planet together and that that is why we all take care of each other. They are probably more aware of the differences in ways people are treated because of their spiritual beliefs (we are Pagan Universal Unitarians, they know a lot about different religions and beliefs and that some people do not like that other people have different beliefs) than that of race.

A funny from my kindergartner:
She had been telling me about her new "best friend" at school. Tiarra was so great, she draws nice, she's funny, she always has cool braids and beads in her hair, she shared her book with me, she never gets in trouble, etc..

Trying to narrow her down so I could say Hi when I picked Maia up from school next I asked "Is Tiara black?" (My own stero type about the braids and beads I guess, but I had her narrowed down to 3 possible girls and was trying to figure out who she was) Maia responds "Mommmmmmmy, Tiara is a good girl she has never even been moved off of blue!" Their class has the color coded behavior chart and black=pincipal's office, and Maia thought I was asking about what color Tiara was on for behavior (a whole nother issue in itself, I hate when teachers use the color black as negative)
post #56 of 145
I don't want my children to be colorblind. I want my children to know the beauty in variety of humanity. To respect and appreciate others and their cultures. A homogeneous world would be quite boring in my opinion. (eta: I pulled this quote from an earlier post)


ITA! That's to me one of the most beautiful and significant things about this historic election. It's not "normal" it's NEW. For me, anyway, it points the way to a new multicultural genuinely diverse future! A United States whose government is moving closer to being a true reflection of who we are as a people in all of our varied skin tones, religions, sexual orientations (obviously we've got lots of work do as many gay couples in California will tell you, but we've made big progress with the election of Barak). And Damn right I'm going to share that with my DD I am just so excited.
post #57 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaki
That's to me one of the most beautiful and significant things about this historic election. It's not "normal" it's NEW.
It's the new normal.
post #58 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone_kneegrabber View Post
I think that people should read

http://mmcisaac.faculty.asu.edu/emc598ge/Unpacking.html
15. I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.

Because only people who have white skin privleage can *not* talk about Obama as the first black president.
yeah. that.

and missy. i so feel you.

minnesota has a rough history with racism, not nearly that of virginia. i concur that this an important issue. obama is black. it is wonderful. i have never cried about an election before (some of you know my personal politics tend to drive me away from voting for anyone.) i appear to be white, as does my son, we are however black and white. ds is black, white and native canadian. wednesday morning he work up and wanted to sing the national athem at the school choir. (can someone explain why the national athem is based on a 16c. english drinking song?) for the first time my fmaily is proud of america.
post #59 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by ian'smommaya View Post
yeah. that.

and missy. i so feel you.

minnesota has a rough history with racism, not nearly that of virginia. i concur that this an important issue. obama is black. it is wonderful. i have never cried about an election before (some of you know my personal politics tend to drive me away from voting for anyone.) i appear to be white, as does my son, we are however black and white. ds is black, white and native canadian. wednesday morning he work up and wanted to sing the national athem at the school choir. (can someone explain why the national athem is based on a 16c. english drinking song?) for the first time my fmaily is proud of america.
shoot. i also meant to say that my nepwew who i raised is also mixed, his dad is black, mom is white. he also has light skin priviledge. the things most parents dont ever have to think about, like his friends who are black were/are not allowed to carry a stick as a young child. because? later in life, when they are teenagers a stick could be mistaken for a gun by the cops and in minneapolis, when young black kids have been shot in the back playing in a yard it can be deadly.
post #60 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyto3girls View Post
responds "Mommmmmmmy, Tiara is a good girl she has never even been moved off of blue!" Their class has the color coded behavior chart and black=pincipal's office, and Maia thought I was asking about what color Tiara was on for behavior (a whole nother issue in itself, I hate when teachers use the color black as negative)
Off Topic, but that upsets me so. Speaking of the connotations of being black and there to go to black is worst of consequences. Believe me that sends a child a message. Has anyone ever did a thesaurus search of the word black? The results are not good.
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