Issues with Racism from LO's father - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 06-18-2009, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I am 1/2 white and 1/2 Native American, my child's father (boyfriend) is 1/2 Black and 1/2 Cuban. Our baby is very light, has light brownish hair and blue eyes. I am of the opinion that our daughter needs to be aware of all of her heritage, that she isn't just Black but a mixture of several ethnicities. My boyfriend is adamant that she is Black and that he will raise her as "black". I find it hurtful that he doesn't even acknowledge my heritage in her. I am adopted and have never know my bio parents and I have tried to expose myself to various aspects of the Native American culture. I want to expose her to some of those things and I want her to take pride in her heritage. My adoptive parents are white yet they have always allowed me to be myself. My boyfriend had a different upbringing and seems to be ashamed of his Cuban heritage and had a hard time as a "mixed" child (he was raised in another country and he was quite a bit lighter than his family members). He has even told me not to put sunscreen on her b/c he wants her to darken up. I have tried to approach the subject with him that race doesn't have to be such a big thing. That our daughter will be who she is but that it is our job to expose her to various experiences. He seems to have a real dislike for white people, even though I'm 1/2 white and he fears my "white" influence on her. That I'm raising her too white. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to have a civil discussion with him about this? I don't want our daughter to grow up hating how she looks. I know one his issues is that she isn't darker. She is several shades lighter than me and quite a few shades lighter than him and I can imagine that we get some questioning looks when we're all out together. I just don't want our daughter to grow up hating herself or hating a particular race...basically I don't want her to grow up like her father. Any thoughts?
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#2 of 5 Old 06-19-2009, 08:29 PM
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First of all, sunscreen may be safer for her because the ozone layers are thin and her skin could become damaged and there are skin cancer cases in children.

As far as identification is concerned, it makes me wonder why your husband would marry someone whose race he is threatened by. Maybe the Native American part is not a threat but in Cuba and other spanish speaking countries there is a little racism due to the Portuguese and Spain taking them over and getting involved in slave trade. That is a long painful history that is hard to let go of. Also in many of the white race people you are NOT accepted as white if you have black mixed in. You can be mixed with anything else but not black. That is part of the white superiority and priveledge thing.

His unfortunate experience as a mixed person is just an indication of how blacks are portrayed all over the world. They seem to be the least respected group. If your daughter is not black in her appearance, she should certainly not hide it because that would cause a lot of problems.

Many blacks in this country have Native American and white in them anyway. They are the most mixed race and accept everybody.
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#3 of 5 Old 06-20-2009, 08:00 AM
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Wow, that must be painful for you.

I, too, am wondering what his attraction is to you when he so despises your background. Or why he thinks creating a multiracial child and then insisting that she's to be "only black" is a reasonable course of action. :

I think you have a right and a responsibility to raise your daughter aware of her entire background. It does nobody any good to segregate along racial lines and despise or hate other ethnicities, even if the one doing it is black and feels they have a right to be angry. Having had that thought, it occurs to me that maybe he's afraid that she will want to identify with some other part of her ethnic background and have disdain for the "black" part of her? I think that's a valid fear but he's not handling it well at all. I think your fear that she will be hurt and confused by this is valid too.

Counseling, perhaps? Someone who is experienced in dealing with mixed-race and culture-crossing relationships?
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#4 of 5 Old 06-20-2009, 05:22 PM
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Raising your daughter as "only black" could have some negative outcomes as well. My son is very light with blue eyes, and there is no way anyone would believe he is "only black". He is 14, and has had to argue with other kids over the fact that his dark complected father is indeed his bio dad. I have raised him to be proud of all his heritage(Native American, English, Irish and African-American) and he has always identified as a multiracial person.

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#5 of 5 Old 06-27-2009, 03:45 PM
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I know one his issues is that she isn't darker.
No advice- I have to say, that is really horrible.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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