We are going to be moving... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 09-15-2008, 11:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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From a place that is somewhat diverse to a place that is over 80% white.

(mods, I hope this question fits here....it's been something that has been weighing on my mind...please forgive me if it needs to be moved!)

We are white, but we've been blessed to live in a fairly diverse place since before our eldest was born. I'm thankful that our children have been exposed to different cultures and races in a very natural way--people at church, playgroups, the park, the grocery store, etc. And yet, because we live in the South, the downside is that there is a more obvious element of racism, particularly in the older people we encounter (some of dh's elderly relatives, and some of the elderly people at church)). So far, I'd like to think that we've been careful to nip it in the bud where possible, so that it hasn't rubbed off on our kids (yeah, I know that's not really possible, but we've done the best we can), but I know that sooner or later--probably sooner--our 6 yo will begin to understand these attitudes and start to try to figure out how they fit in with his reality, KWIM?

So, the blessing is that we've been in a culturally diverse area. The curse is that we've been exposed to a more visible level of racism (for lack of a better way to say it...hope y'all understand, it's hard to put into words something so despicable and hateful, and sooooo insidious!).

Now, we are contemplating a move to a very predominately white area, and I wonder....which is worse?

The beauty of cultural diversity, even if it means I have to explain racism to my kids and battle the effect of it on their souls, or living in an area of bland sameness that to me sorta feels like a form of racism in itself, and risk the chance that my kids will forget that God used an amazingly rich palette when He created people?

This isn't so much a question of "should we make this move" because it is almost a certainty that we will. I guess my question is more, what are the ramifications of living in such a "non" diverse area, and what (if anything) can I do to protect my children from that lack of diversity?

Am I making any sense at all? I feel like I'm phrasing everything very poorly...perhaps I don't even really know what my question is. It's just been on my mind a lot since it became apparent that we'd be moving. Which is worse, open racism, or the more subtle racism of non-diversity?

Sarah, Queen of Hearts, raising a Full House with Michael, King of my Heart!
DS (2/02), DD (3/04), DS (1/06), DD (12/07), and DS (3/10)
~~*~~Not your typical Pastor's Wife!~~*~~
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#2 of 2 Old 09-16-2008, 10:05 PM
 
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Which is worse, open racism, or the more subtle racism of non-diversity?
I'm gonna say open racism because it's actions and words that could possibly be repeated by children. But that does have the teachable benefit of being able to model proper behavior and respect. For example if a cashier tries to take you before a POC (person of color) you can point out who was next and your children may pick up on that.

If you are raising children in an area where you don't feel like they will be naturally exposed to much diversity you can make it a point of focusing on different cultures. Just some ideas I can think of right now: shopping at ethnic grocers for fun ingredients, making a night each week or month where you get take out or prepare a dish from a different country/culture and use the whole night to focus on that culture, maybe add a movie and just conversation about what you know about the culture and ask them what they already know- maybe they will surprise you with how much they already know and maybe even with some ideas that aren't accurate and then you can address them.

I grew up in a Philadelphia suburb that was not diverse but moved at age 15. When I went back to visit as an adult I was shocked at the racism I saw and couldn't believe that the people I had grown up around had such awful beliefs.

My Mother had a diverse group of friends including women from Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and african-american women from Trenton (the city where she was employed). I guess we lived in our own little bubble of diversity within a non-diverse area. My Mom has a love of different cultures and it is something that she passed on to me, only by her example. People were people in her eyes- and the more they were different from her the more interesting they were to her. Inheriting this openness and desire to learn about the world through people no doubt had an influence on my life and the friends I chose. I looked past differences and instead was raised to look for similarities in values, good people, honest people, positive people are the people I gravitate towards regardless of their race or background.

Your children are fortunate to have such a thoughtful Momma.
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