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post #81 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.
very well put. I have so many thoughts racing through my head, but no way to put them into words.
The color of your skin and racial background is an issue in America and has always been. I've found that to be true in other countries as well.
post #82 of 145
My daughter doesn't know the name of every specific race, but she knows some people have darker or lighter skin. Early on in the election, before she knew his name well, someone asked which one she liked, and she said, "The one with brown skin who smiles a lot." So she obviously noticed that he's black.

Now she knows his name. I told her that it's the first time someone with brown skin has been elected president, and that makes this election pretty special. But she knows about racism because we've sadly witnessed some instances of racism before. And if you see racist incidents and you ignore them, you make them normal, so we talked in length about why they weren't OK.

We also have Islamic neighbors, and my daughter has several Islamic friends, so we talked about the fact that his father was Islamic so his name sounds Islamic, and that he had people who were mean and didn't want to vote for him because of that too.
post #83 of 145
I have been a supporter of Obama. I have volumteered for him and cried when he was elected. I am also a white woman with a white 4 year old. (I do live in a somewhat mixed neighborhood-maybe 30% black, 30% asian & hispanic, 50% white). He's heard about Barack Obama and I have half-heartedly tried to talk about how important I believe it is that he is the first black president. It seems to go over his head, so I decided to drop it.

This thread has made me change my mind. I want to educate him. Just now, I asked him if he knows what a black person is. He said no. He has a black friend at school, black cousins and black neighbors...This thread made me realize how priveleged he is that he does not need to know what it means to be black...I am having a hard time articulating myself. I think previously, subconsciously, I was proud that he is color-blind when it comes to race. But now I see, that that is really unrealistic. He is actually not seeing the truth. Race does matter in our society.

Anyway, I would love recommendations for books to read to my son. Both about racial issues and feminist issues.

TIA
post #84 of 145
We are a white family living in a predominantly black neighborhood in Philly. The celebrations this week have been huge and joyful, and I sure did make sure my dd has been in on all of it.

I voted for Barack because I believe he will be a good president, but I celebrated with my neighbors because this event is *huge* for all of us. Because he is a black man in this white privilege society. I woke my daughter up at 12:30 am to watch his victory speech on TV, and to see Sasha and Malia smiling for their Dad. She, like kids around this country, should remember this moment.

[Also, her school had 'elections' last week. She voted for Obama, but she also let me know that if next time around, there were a woman with dark skin who would also end the war, she's voting for her!]
post #85 of 145
I want to add this
I am overjoyed that Obama was elected. It means that a great many Americans are willing to move forward. But people should keep in mind that the young brothers and sister on the street everyday are still subject to racial profiling, that some people are still going to grab their purses tighter as a young black man walks by, store security is still going to watch them closer, and when some of them make it in the business world people are going to assume they got their by way of Affirmative Action (believed handout) rather than because hey truly possessed the talent.
What am I saying? That Obama and Americans have made a major step forward. I just caution you to know it is only a step we have yet to Arrive as a country.
I want my children's white friends to appreciate the differences of my kids' culture. To come to Kwanzaa festivals (which some have with us). To come to Juneteenth celebrations. If they never see my kids color how would they appreciate my kid culture.
If you are a white mom with white children and you went to live in a country with old black people ( And white people had a history of being oppressed) would it be more important for you to have your kids blend in with a bit of detachment from your whiteness? ( please know I mean no snarkiness in this question, but I am trying to relay what is happening in this country to some degree in my experience)
I have been in setting with loving friends that are white. They love me as long as I don't bring up the tedious day to day things I deal with being black. It's hard to explain. But discussing black concerns can be a downer some would rather not deal with. Unfortunately, I don't have that luxury.
post #86 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy View Post
And I'm going to repeat...pretending that it's normal, ignoring the significance of this, is arrogantly dismissive of the people who fought with their lives for Obama not just to have this opportunity but to get the education he needed to get there and to have the right to even vote in this election. It is dismissive of the obstacles that Obama faced to reach this moment. To be able to pretend it's normal ignores the people who were literally collapsing in tears on Tuesday night...and the racism and anger many faced the next day when they returned to work. Having the luxury to pretend it's normal implies that we don't still have a fight ahead of us, that this is the end of racism in America, that we are--suddenly--healed.

It is not normal. Not yet. It's a beginning.

: I wholeheartedly agree, no its not normal yet its just the beginning. Missy, what you wrote really resonated with me, I am a Black woman in Maine and while Maine voted for Obama there were still plenty of folks who didn't. A Black girlfriend of mine who lives here was verbally assualted in a store by a clerk who went off about Obama to her :. So I think while its easy for some to be nonchalant about this, there is still more work to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yinsum View Post
I want to add this
I am overjoyed that Obama was elected. It means that a great many Americans are willing to move forward. But people should keep in mind that the young brothers and sister on the street everyday are still subject to racial profiling, that some people are still going to grab their purses tighter as a young black man walks by, store security is still going to watch them closer, and when some of them make it in the business world people are going to assume they got their by way of Affirmative Action (believed handout) rather than because hey truly possessed the talent.
What am I saying? That Obama and Americans have made a major step forward. I just caution you to know it is only a step we have yet to Arrive as a country.
I want my children's white friends to appreciate the differences of my kids' culture. To come to Kwanzaa festivals (which some have with us). To come to Juneteenth celebrations. If they never see my kids color how would they appreciate my kid culture.
If you are a white mom with white children and you went to live in a country with old black people ( And white people had a history of being oppressed) would it be more important for you to have your kids blend in with a bit of detachment from your whiteness? ( please know I mean no snarkiness in this question, but I am trying to relay what is happening in this country to some degree in my experience)
I have been in setting with loving friends that are white. They love me as long as I don't bring up the tedious day to day things I deal with being black. It's hard to explain. But discussing black concerns can be a downer some would rather not deal with. Unfortunately, I don't have that luxury.
Yes, yes and yes to what you said. I have also had that experience of talking about what I deal with and getting the glazed eye look as I call it.

Shay
post #87 of 145
that is something that has occured to me too. are we now going to start hearing "i'm not a racist. we have a back president" and will people take complaints of racist terror even less seriously?
post #88 of 145
So I take the unschooling approach with my children for the most part and my son does NOT see skin color, he doesn't even realize/care that he's in a wheelchair. I answer the questions that he has and respond to the comments that he makes but I don't feel that it's appropriate to push topics on him that he may not be developmentally ready to tackle. I mentioned to him that Barack Obama became president and we watched his acceptance speech. I waited for comments and he stated that Obama was being a teacher to all the students and they were listening to him. My 2 year old said 'Barack Obama laughing'. I left it at that.
post #89 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by beru View Post
This thread has made me change my mind. I want to educate him. Just now, I asked him if he knows what a black person is. He said no. He has a black friend at school, black cousins and black neighbors...This thread made me realize how priveleged he is that he does not need to know what it means to be black...I am having a hard time articulating myself. I think previously, subconsciously, I was proud that he is color-blind when it comes to race. But now I see, that that is really unrealistic. He is actually not seeing the truth. Race does matter in our society.
Me too. How do I discuss it with a 4 yo and 2 yo? I'm sure it can be done, but I'm not sure HOW to do it. Most of DS and DDs classmates are white. DS best friends are arab, but he does not know what it means. I want to counter the racism they will encounter, and I figure the best way is by example. I am sure words are also needed. But what words?
post #90 of 145
HUGE. HUGE. HUGE.

This was huge for us. My five year old and two year old know who Obama and McCain are. DH is Kenyan and grew up not far from Kogelo, the home of Obama's father. They are of the same tribe. I am a white midwestern woman. When my son sees Obama, he sees someone just like him. He too could be president of the United States.

We cried, we laughed, and we contemplated what this means for the future of our country. I'm still taking it all in.
post #91 of 145
DD is 5 1/2. Everyone in her class knrw who was running for pres and VP. At first she said she liked the woman (Palin) because she thought it'd be good to have a woman in The White House. Then she found out she was a hunter and changed her mind. It never crossed her mind that because he was black it would be unusual.She has 2 mixed cousins. I explained how one of her aunts lost her job and was thrown out of college for dating a blck man in the 60's. She just did not think that made any sense! I was brought up that we are all the same regardless of race or religion and am so grateful that kids today are not being taught those prejudices. Maybe I live in a bubble...I'm sure in some places there is still prejudice of race. we are jewish and there are people who don't like jews so who am i kidding!!!
post #92 of 145
We told our kids bluntly. They learned from an early age about the US's history of slavery ... why not? They hear every year on Pesakh (Passover) that the Jews were once slaves in Egypt. And during the campaign, they knew I supported Obama, and heard DH and I discuss various ramifications of having an African-American candidate for any public office, much less the presidency. We've also told them that just like there are people who don't like Jews for no reason other than the fact that they're Jewish, that there are people who don't like Black people for no reason other than the fact that their skin color is different.

When we all watched his post-election 'victory' speech on Wednesday (it was Wednesday morning already where we live, when the results were announced, and the speech was conveniently during breakfast time/before school ) the kids saw our emotion, saw the crowds on the news and their emotion, and that was also worthwhile discussion.



While I appreciate the need for kids to know that it's normal and the way it should be, IMO it's important for them to see that the opposite is *not normal* and that if there is such evil/wrong in the world, it must be fought against/fixed.

Kind of like, if you don't show them/experience the bad, then how can you ever truly understand/appreciate the good?
post #93 of 145
Thread Starter 
exactly periwinkle, my young children will grow up with a black president and for them it will be the norm. i think it does obama a disservice to concentrate so much on his race, he is so much more than that.
and the idea of the "white privelage" of not seeing race is probably one of the most ridiculous, racist things i have heard in a long time. : where i live, there is no white privelage, i am one of 3 white families in the area. my kids aren't going to get any preferential treatment for thier race, there is no college fund set up for white american children,or any of the other funds and associations set up for only white children as there are for so many other races so the "white privelage" idea is pretty out there. if there was a united white american college fund or anything like that it would be ripped apart as being racist.
post #94 of 145
My DS1 is only 3, but when we brought the TV up to our living area and turned it on election night he knew something was up. (hehe) We explained briefly that it was an important, historic time because we would either be getting the first black president of our country, or the first female VP.
post #95 of 145
I guess it weirds me out that so many are saying that they want their kids to see this as "normal" so that they won't discuss the race issue at all.

That is denying reality to your kids. It's not showing them the world as it is. Is there a particular reason why they have to be ignorant of racism? Because it's not like it's suddenly disappeared, ya' know?
post #96 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by sagemomma View Post
and the idea of the "white privelage" of not seeing race is probably one of the most ridiculous, racist things i have heard in a long time. : where i live, there is no white privelage, i am one of 3 white families in the area. my kids aren't going to get any preferential treatment for thier race, there is no college fund set up for white american children,or any of the other funds and associations set up for only white children as there are for so many other races so the "white privelage" idea is pretty out there. if there was a united white american college fund or anything like that it would be ripped apart as being racist.

Please, please please go visit the race work shops here at MDC. What you are saying is incredibly ignorant (not stupid--I'm not making fun of you) and you have been deeply misinformed about American society if you truly believe the parts I've bolded.

If you live in AMERICA, your children have white privilege, regardless of what city/town they live in.

Racism in america is MUCH larger than your personal experiences with the people who live in your neighborhood.

McCain had the privilege of not having his citizenship/birth nation questioned during a major campaign.

He had the privilege of not having racist groups plotting an assassination during the campaign, and of not having racist t-shirts, buttons and other memorabilia selling on cafepress, ebay, and other markets.

He had the privilege of not having people whisper or say "...yeah, but I'm just not sure we're ready for a white president..."

Growing up, he had the privilege of walking into a store without being stared down.

As a child, student, teacher, leader, politician, he didn't have to work harder just to prove that he was a serious, intelligent, worthwhile person.

As a young man looking into colleges, he didn't have to research which ones would automatically deny him entrance because of his race.

He has the privilege of driving a nice car in a nice neighborhood without some people wondering what he's doing there.

He has the privilege of never being refered to as a mutt, mulatto, half-breed, n-word, etc...insults based solely on race, not on appearence, character, or moral standing.




Obama didn't have ANY of those privileges, because he's not white.

(granted, by the time obama looked into colleges, the "civil rights movement" had already broken many of those barriers, but many universities put up quite the fight to stay white only, and it wasn't until the gov't said they would not offer any monies to such institutions that they finally changed)

So to deny that white privilege exists is extremely insulting and wrong.
post #97 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieMonsterMommy View Post
Please, please please go visit the race work shops here at MDC. What you are saying is incredibly ignorant (not stupid--I'm not making fun of you) and you have been deeply misinformed about American society if you truly believe the parts I've bolded.

If you live in AMERICA, your children have white privilege, regardless of what city/town they live in.

Racism in america is MUCH larger than your personal experiences with the people who live in your neighborhood.

McCain had the privilege of not having his citizenship/birth nation questioned during a major campaign.

He had the privilege of not having racist groups plotting an assassination during the campaign, and of not having racist t-shirts, buttons and other memorabilia selling on cafepress, ebay, and other markets.

He had the privilege of not having people whisper or say "...yeah, but I'm just not sure we're ready for a white president..."

Growing up, he had the privilege of walking into a store without being stared down.

As a child, student, teacher, leader, politician, he didn't have to work harder just to prove that he was a serious, intelligent, worthwhile person.

As a young man looking into colleges, he didn't have to research which ones would automatically deny him entrance because of his race.

He has the privilege of driving a nice car in a nice neighborhood without some people wondering what he's doing there.

He has the privilege of never being refered to as a mutt, mulatto, half-breed, n-word, etc...insults based solely on race, not on appearence, character, or moral standing.




Obama didn't have ANY of those privileges, because he's not white.

(granted, by the time obama looked into colleges, the "civil rights movement" had already broken many of those barriers, but many universities put up quite the fight to stay white only, and it wasn't until the gov't said they would not offer any monies to such institutions that they finally changed)

So to deny that white privilege exists is extremely insulting and wrong.


Thank you, you said it much better than I would have.
post #98 of 145
The year that Obama was born, his parents' marriage was still illegal in several states, there was a school system here in Virginia was closed down completely for five years in an effort to avoid integration, and there were people still fighting literally with their lives for the right to vote. To deny white privilege denies our history, a history that we are not so far removed from.
post #99 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by sagemomma View Post
exactly periwinkle, my young children will grow up with a black president and for them it will be the norm. i think it does obama a disservice to concentrate so much on his race, he is so much more than that.
and the idea of the "white privelage" of not seeing race is probably one of the most ridiculous, racist things i have heard in a long time. : where i live, there is no white privelage, i am one of 3 white families in the area. my kids aren't going to get any preferential treatment for thier race, there is no college fund set up for white american children,or any of the other funds and associations set up for only white children as there are for so many other races so the "white privelage" idea is pretty out there. if there was a united white american college fund or anything like that it would be ripped apart as being racist.
I grew up in Prince George's County, Maryland - a suburb of Washington, D.C. I spent my first 21 years of life in P.G. County. I was a racial minority in a few neighborhoods I lived in and three of the schools I attended. But, white privilege still existed in P.G. County. The local police forces were known for racial profiling. I took note of white shopkeepers keeping eye on and giving more attitude towards my black friends. With numerous black people in positions of power in the county, white privilege wasn't as obvious as it is in whiter areas, but it was still an issue.
When I was 21, I left P.G. County, Maryland to attend college in Olympia, Washington. Talk about culture shock! The first thing I did when I got to my new school was call my foster mom and exclaim, "I've never seen so many white people in my life! What do I do?" I may have grown up in a beautifully diverse area, but I didn't stay there my whole life. I certainly experienced and observed white privilege in Oly. When I got married and moved to Anne Arundel County, MD- a neighbor to P.G. Co, I again ended up in a white neighborhood. I am within an hour's drive of my hometown, and yet I'm surrounded by racists. People here fly the Confederate flag! They are openly racist! And there is a ton of obvious white privilege in this area!

I absolutely believe that exposure is a way to fight racism. Stereotypes can't easily exist in the face of truth. But, your children may not always live in an area where they are the racial minority. It is your responsibility to teach them to use their white privilege to help others rather than oppress them. It is your responsibility to teach them the history of this country, including the history of black people in this country. It does us ALL a great disservice when you do not.
post #100 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by sagemomma View Post
ok so my kids are 5 and 1 . i am not sure if i want to make a big deal out of Barak being the first black president, i kinda want them to see it as normal and not some bizzare occurance. I really want them to grow up thinking it is normal and nothing to be gawked at but i am so excited and want them to know how special it is at the same time. i try to teach that we are all the same , what are you all doing at this historic time? :
Quote:
Originally Posted by sagemomma View Post
exactly periwinkle, my young children will grow up with a black president and for them it will be the norm. i think it does obama a disservice to concentrate so much on his race, he is so much more than that.
and the idea of the "white privelage" of not seeing race is probably one of the most ridiculous, racist things i have heard in a long time. : where i live, there is no white privelage, i am one of 3 white families in the area. my kids aren't going to get any preferential treatment for thier race, there is no college fund set up for white american children,or any of the other funds and associations set up for only white children as there are for so many other races so the "white privelage" idea is pretty out there. if there was a united white american college fund or anything like that it would be ripped apart as being racist.

This thread kind of took a turn. I'm a little confused by your wondering how other families would teach their children about this election suddenly turning into an attack on people real experiences. White privilege is not out there or made up, it is real, and to dismiss it is very very insulting.
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