White Anti-Racist Parents - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 02:06 AM
 
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(((MITB)))

That behaviour makes me shudder. :
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#62 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 02:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mahdokht

Like being anti-violence etc. truly seeking to raise children who are not racist requires some real inner work as well. I would suggest that a parent begin him or herself by reading about racism and white privilege.
Thanks Mahdokht. This is so true. I think alot of what is going on on this thread is white people trying to sort everything out. I feel like i have been working on it for years and i am just scratching the surface. So i hope everybody sticks with the conversation, inner and intra.
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#63 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 02:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Please understand people that that behavior is all too common. THat and many many other, more subtle behaviors that are truly abhorent. Racism is so much more that just those overt acts.

Joyful hands, i love that your babe has the same gorgeous head of hair that you do!
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#64 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 02:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by elmama

A quick story i will never forget. Shortly after the birth of my first child, we moved from Portland,to a very rural, white area of oregon. I was having lunch with an AA acquaintance from school and in the process i started to feel very close to her. At the end of lunch i invited her out to our place. She shook her head and told me she didn't come out that way because people look at her funny. "They look at me suspicious," she said. I was totally rejected and heartbroken. At the time it felt she was saying we couldn't be friends. Since then, however, other friends of color have been open with me about why rural white areas make them feel uncomfortalbe. And to tell the truth, i don't blame them.
I don't blame them for feeling that way either. Although, in my hometown, I can't imagine anyone being anything less than hospitable to ANYONE who is passing through. That doesn't mean that people passing through shouldn't feel uncomfortable though. I can imagine that many city-dwellers of all colors would be freaked out by the whiteness/ruralness/big trucks in that town! This evening, my dh told me I am just so idealistic that I have a hard time understanding why and how people can be racist. I was watching an interview with Colin Powell and there was a question about the US being ready for a "black president". I was surprised by the question and just couldn't understand why race should make a difference in a presidential candidate. That's when dh swooped in with his "idealistic" comment. I just don't get it!
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#65 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 02:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Doodlebugsmom
Great post MITB. I teach my children the same thing. I just can't believe that other people act that way toward you. It makes me sad to think that people are actually like that. I'm lucky that I've never experienced people treating others like that. It would severely piss me off.

I didn't say that we should refrain from teaching our children to see everyone as equally human, equally deserving of respect, kindness etc. That is a foundation of my own parenting practice, but when discussing racism that is just a start, it is not enough to stop there. Regardless of what we teach in the home, our children are bombarded with racist messages that we need to actively counteract. It's almost like trying to raise media savy kids by pointing out that everything you see on television can't be trusted, but not teaching them anything beyond that one point. We need to point out and discuss instances of racism and make it clear to our children exactly why they are wrong, how deeply they hurt etc.
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#66 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 02:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by elmama
Please understand people that that behavior is all too common. THat and many many other, more subtle behaviors that are truly abhorent. Racism is so much more that just those overt acts.

Joyful hands, i love that your babe has the same gorgeous head of hair that you do!

So true. &

Awww, shucks! Thanks.
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#67 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 02:32 AM
 
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I didn't say that we should refrain from teaching our children to see everyone as equally human, equally deserving of respect, kindness etc. That is a foundation of my own parenting practice, but when discussing racism that is just a start, it is not enough to stop there. Regardless of what we teach in the home, our children are bombarded with racist messages that we need to actively counteract. It's almost like trying to raise media savy kids by pointing out that everything you see on television can't be trusted, but not teaching them anything beyond that one point. We need to point out and discuss instances of racism and make it clear to our children exactly why they are wrong, how deeply they hurt etc.
You're absolutely right, Mahkdot, and that isn't the only thing I'm going to teach my children about racism. Dd is 3.5 and ds is 15mos. so right now, I try to keep it age appropriate. I have taken quite a few women's studies and sociology and anthro classes, so I am knowlegeable about white privlege and such.
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#68 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 03:11 AM
 
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Hi,
I have been lurking and remembered a neighbor of my mom's who is a medium coffe colored black woman, who told my mom that she broke up with her boyfriend because he was too "dark". I dont even know what to call what she did. She didnt, as far as I know, have a problem with other races. She thought my mexican/white son was beautiful and she had a girlfriend from work that she talked about that was korean.
It was interesting to hear her talk and it sounded like her beleifs came directly from how she grew up.
I dont go out of my way to talk about racism with my son, however we talk alot about how he treats others and what he thinks of the behavior of the kids at school. We talk about the ways to stick up for others or how to help. We talk about being nervous in new situations including being around people who look strange to us.
We point out interesting looking people and talk about them. "Hey that woman has some really red hair what do you think" "that woman has a sari on do you know anyone from india?" " that kid speaks spanish, do you remember how to say hello in spanish" ect.ect ect.
Anyways !!!!
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#69 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 04:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by elmama
Way to go that you don't just buy barbie for your little one! I think it is really important that our toys are representative of the whole specturm thathumans come in.



What i'm wondering though is, without real, intimate relationships with POC, how can we say that we are really countering racism and it's divisiveness at all? I don't think its enough to just be nice if we are still essentially isolated from one another. If we are teaching by example, isn't the example then that we behave respectfully and humbly around POC but we don't really deal with having a relationship? That it is not possible? THat there is a difference between us that precludes us being friends? Just wondering what you think.
By my examples given. Treating all humans with respect and dignity, learning the history of oppression of POC in our country and in others. Leading by example.

I cannot in good conscience befriend someone, or seek them out because they are a POC. Is that true friendship? It sounds a little like using someone to prove a point, which really isn't proving anything.

My friends are my friends because we share similiar likes and dislikes, views on certains topics, etc, not because we share skin tone or do not share skin tone.
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#70 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 08:40 AM
 
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1). No offense but the abusive husband analogy is just not a good one and is not working so let's let it go.
I'm not offended. I didn't come up with the analogy, but it kept being used to tell me why my argument was wrong. Frankly, I think I've done a good job showing why that analogy doesn't work, and in fact, lends support to my side of the discussion. So, I think it's working well! But by all means, I think it's served its' purpose.

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2). I wasn't specifically referring to you at all with my post that you quoted. However, I think your last post is doing exactly what I was saying.
Care to elaborate? Remember, you're talking about institutionalized racism, and I'm probably not. No, I don't think black people can easily climb out of the hole caused by white privledge without white people actively addressing it in regards to glass celings and educational gaps (with of course, partipation of minorities). But sure as taxes, we can all teach our children not to prejudiced. And, oh boy, do I not understand the world we live in that would argue otherwise.

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3). Did you read the link I posted?
I did, but to be honest, I didn't really 'get' why you were posting it. I really do 'get' the concept of institutionalized racism (and, in the case of Katrina, class discrimination). And as you aptly pointed out earlier, I think I'm talking about more personalised responsibility for teaching our kids to be tolerant (I hate that word, but I've run out of alternatives).

Remember that the OP asked how to teach our kids not to be racist, and was responded to with statements about racism solely being a white person's responsibility - to which I'm disagreeing. We ALL have a responsibility to raise our kids right. It's not a race thing. It's the moral thing to do. All major religions teach tolerance (although may not practice it). That doesn't absolve white people from talking about race, or dealing with institutionalized racism. So, I'm still sitting here pretty confused.

I'm asking you to tell me directly why only white people are responsible for teaching about diversity of colors (and races, sexes, and sexual orientations), in a world which is far more than just black and white?

Because even as white people continue to seek to create a more level playing field, if our goal is true multiculturalism, then EVERYONE has to learn to accept the wide variety of people who live in this beautiful world. Not just white people (as evidenced by issues highlighted by the AA vs. Korean gang thing).

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4). It's never good when I start responding with a list. :LOL :
I love it. So easy to respond to!
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#71 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 08:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mahdokht
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Again, regardless of white power --
There *is* no regardless. You can not separate racism from white power, if you attempt to then it is impossible to really be anti-racist.
Way to take phrase WAY out of context and run away with it. I have never argued anything different from what you said in your post, except to respond to a few people that overtly and covertly stated that ONLY white people have a responsibility to teach thier kids to be tolerant.
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#72 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 09:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
I guess, for myself, I do turn a blind eye when we are hurt by racism. Like when we go to the playground and the mothers pull their children away from us and most times just leave. Or the time we went to the beach and within an hour, everyone was gone. Or when we go to the grocery and the baggers argue about who is going to bag our groceries and I usually end up doing it myself.
My children see all of this and worse. And yet I continue to teach them to treat everyone as human beings first and foremost.
Other people of color never react/act that way towards us.
Ugh. That's just plain awful.

Perhaps where we live has something to do with our world view. I happen to live in one of bluest areas of a blue state (meaning very democratic and liberal). Racism exists here, but it simply is not this overt. Most white people I know would never engage in such horrendous behavior -- in fact, most people in general I know wouldn't. But, we have a significant achievement gap in the schools, so much so that our local schools failed the No Child Left Behind Standards this year. And, I know that AA's do get pulled over for spurious reasons on our roads. But we do have true issues in regards to how everyone treats everyone -- and I'm not kidding about the black vs. korean thing. It's a big problem. So is tolerance of homosexuality -- which isn't racism, generally, but still an issue of acceptance.

So, I can see that because of your world view, racisim does look like a problem of solely white people. And, because of my experience where a whole hodgepodge of cultures are trying to live together, I can clearly see where this is an issue we all have to address, and where it doesn't make any sense at all to only leave it to white people (how would it address the gang fights between blacks and koreans?) that leave the city unsafe for everyone?
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#73 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 11:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
I am not white, but do think it does/would help by teaching children that all people are human beings and setting up certain standards of behavior that is extended to every and all human beings. But maybe that is because I am on the bottom,
I agree that teaching our children that all people are human beings worthy of dignity and respect is the place to start. That is what I strive to teach my kids. I'm anglo.

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Like when we go to the playground and the mothers pull their children away from us and most times just leave. Or the time we went to the beach and within an hour, everyone was gone. Or when we go to the grocery and the baggers argue about who is going to bag our groceries and I usually end up doing it myself.
I'm so sorry for your experiences. I know that things like this happen -- I've seen it happen first hand and I've heard stories from friends. I think that some white people really don't realize how much racism still exist in our society or how subtle it can be. I find it bizarre when white parents say that they don't talk to their young children about racism because they want them to only know about the good in the world until they are older. That is a luxury that only white people have -- children of color learn about racism when they are quite young.

One of the ways I try to combat racism is just to smile and say 'Hi.' I didn't mention before on this thread because I feared that I would get slammed -- it sounds so small and insignificant. It's one of my little ways of trying to override the the kind of experiences that MITB has had.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#74 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 11:16 AM
 
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Choosing not to tell your child about racism is an exercise of white privilege.
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#75 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 12:10 PM
 
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Choosing not to tell your child about racism is an exercise of white privilege.
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I find it bizarre when white parents say that they don't talk to their young children about racism because they want them to only know about the good in the world until they are older. That is a luxury that only white people have -- children of color learn about racism when they are quite young.
Ok. It looks like I’m going to have to bow out of this conversation, because I’m starting to feel frustrated, and angry . . . and that’s not going to be productive.

Look . . .

There are A LOT of things I don’t tell my children about the lived experiences of other children.

I don’t tell them of the countless children orphaned in Africa.

I don’t tell them of the genocide of infant girls in China.

I don’t tell them about the hundreds of thousands of children who are starving in our country and around the world.

I don’t tell them of the children who lost their homes, parents, and siblings in the year’s latest natural disasters.

I don’t tell them of the many in our own area who don’t have a home, or don’t have their own toys, or clothes.

I don’t tell them of children who are abused, beaten, neglected, or sexually assaulted.

I don’t discuss child labor with my 5 year old.

I don’t tell them about the horrors of infant circumcision or female genital mutilation.

We don’t discuss the fact that our country is at war, or that we have family on the front lines.

We don’t discuss the fact that there are children who are directly suffering because of the war in Iraq.

We don’t talk about the fact that our planet is dying, our government causes suffering.

We don’t talk about the fact that the animals we eat lived, short miserable lives on feedlots.

We don’t talk about the children who are dying of diseases both acquired and genetic.

And . . . I defy either of you to find me a developmental psychologist that thinks it IS a good idea to talk about these things with a preschooler.

Does that mean I’m privledged? That I’m all about luxury? Perhaps, but I think it’s more about basic human rights than privilege. Are basic human rights privileges? Or just rights that not all people have access to? Are basic human rights luxuries?

Just because countless children suffer in this world, doesn’t mean that I have to make my children suffer by default. In fact, I believe that I can do a better service to this world by raising children with a foundation that makes them feel safe and secure, and discussing difficult topics at a time when they are more likely to handle it intellectually and emotionally, than they can now. Otherwise, I’d be instilling values of fear, anger, and a sense of unsafety that I don’t believe gives kids a solid foundation. Yes, countless children are being raised without this solid foundation. But, I’d rather see them given a better foundation, then me equalize things by having my own children suffer unnecessarily.

And if that’s makes me bizarre, then so be it.
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#76 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 12:35 PM
 
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I would also find it EXTREMELY harmful for a parent of a preschooler or a child UNDER the age of 7 or 8 to discuss race and racism with their child. Most children start noticing differences in skin color and questioning it around 7 or 8 years old. THIS is when the discussion should start to become focused.

Just as I do not see murder to be a appropriate topic for a 4 or 5 year old.

White Feather, I agree with you on this one!
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#77 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 12:57 PM
 
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Sometimes children deal with adults. Sometimes children hear things directed at them by adults. Comments, insults, racial epithets. If you have no concerns that someone is going to say any of these very ugly things to your child before you get a chance to reasonably discuss these concepts with them you are fortunate and should recognize that fact. If terminal illness, death, war, poverty, physical or mental disabilities have not touched your childs life in such a way that you get to choose when to address those issues with them... you are fortunate and you should simply recognize that fact.

As an aside... I recently moved to NY. I live about two blocks from the WTC site. When we walked by the site one day I struggled with what to tell my daughter. That was a luxury.... because the parents of thousands of children didn't get to decide when and how to tell their children about that terrible day. Their kids were in the middle of it and witnessed the whole thing.
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#78 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Fishygirlsmom
I would also find it EXTREMELY harmful for a parent of a preschooler or a child UNDER the age of 7 or 8 to discuss race and racism with their child. Most children start noticing differences in skin color and questioning it around 7 or 8 years old. THIS is when the discussion should start to become focused.
I guess, I could find some sense in that. When my children were 3 yrs old, we were walking and a pick-up truck drove by and four white boys threw rocks and beer cans at us and called us some very nasty names. My head was bleeding and was growing some ugly goose eggs. I did not tell my crying children that it was racism. I did tell them that it was a very cruel and inhumane action.
I guess my children, so far, have been lucky to not ask why those things do not happen to white children as often as they happen to non-white children.
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#79 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 01:30 PM
 
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I would also find it EXTREMELY harmful for a parent of a preschooler or a child UNDER the age of 7 or 8 to discuss race and racism with their child. Most children start noticing differences in skin color and questioning it around 7 or 8 years old. THIS is when the discussion should start to become focused.
That's interesting. My dd is 3.5, and has recently started noticing different skin colors. At this point when she says, "Mommy, that person is a different color!", I just say, "That's right, people come in all sizes and colors, but we're all the same under our skin." I don't think anyone is arguing that discussions shouldn't be kept age-appropriate.
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#80 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 01:31 PM
 
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My family is from the south, and there is, unfortunately, a lot of racism there. My dh's family is bad, also. I guess I was lucky, we moved around so much when I was growing up, I wasn't isolated. As a white girl, there were a few times that I found myself the minority in a classroom (this happened in San Diego, when there were mostly hispanic children). So, I grew up and became friends with all kinds of children. My mother was also careful about trying to teach me not to see people's outsides, but to judge them by what kind of person they were.

It was also taught that we didn't judge people if they were short/tall, skinny/fat so on and so forth. I think these lessons are just as important.

My husband's great-grandfather immigrated from Syria, and so he is very dark. He doesn't look middle-eastern, just extremely tan (and is sometimes mistaken as Hispanic, though we have a middle-eastern surname). One of my boys took after him and is also very dark. My stepson is tan-complected. My youngest is pale, pale, pale, toe-headed with blue eyes. I see it as a blessing. It can all start at home, to accept people no matter what their skin color!
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#81 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 02:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
I guess, I could find some sense in that. When my children were 3 yrs old, we were walking and a pick-up truck drove by and four white boys threw rocks and beer cans at us and called us some very nasty names. My head was bleeding and was growing some ugly goose eggs. I did not tell my crying children that it was racism. I did tell them that it was a very cruel and inhumane action.
I guess my children, so far, have been lucky to not ask why those things do not happen to white children as often as they happen to non-white children.
I can't imagine what something like that must feel like. I can't grasp that this stuff really happens. WTF is wrong with people? MamaInTheBoonies, I am so sorry that this happened to you and your dc. I'm sick in my stomach just thinking about it.

As far as telling ds about racism and such, I think that for any heavy, involved or emotionally loaded subject there is a time and a place for everything. Every child is different. When I was 3 or 4 my best friend Marjorie was AA. I knew there was something different about her, but I couldn't quite place it. Her mom would wave to me everyday when she met Marjorie at the bus stop . It always made me feel special. And I loved them both in a very real and true way. I'm glad my mom didn't burden me with the idea of racism right then.

I DO agree that kids should learn about other's suffering as a way to step outside of themselves. I deeply believe that service to others is one of the most important things we can do to live life fully and move the world forward. I just think they need to be an age where they can act on the knowledge I give them. Instead of saying, there are people who don't like others based on their color and leave it at that - I want to be able to add to that - what can we do about it? and have a discussion.

That being said, ds is only 2. I'm not sure what age that will be. As I said every kid is diff. Maybe for my ds it will 4 or maybe 6 - I don't know. I do know that what I do now is incorporate books showing kids of different races into our reading repertoire - so that he sees images of AA, Asian, Latino etc. kids and it becomes his norm. There are some really cute, funny, touching books out there showing different people - other than white. Not a ton, but they do exist.
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#82 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 02:06 PM
 
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White Feather, you are the only poster here on this thread who consistently makes me nod my head in agreement. I agree with everything you say, absolutely the most with the fact that a 4-5 year old doesn't even need to know about bad things. Why would parents who are responsible enough to turn off the t.v. during a rape or fight scene when dc wanders out of the play room, actively seek out real horrors to discuss with their kids? I was puzzled when people were asking how to discuss Katrina with their 3/4 year olds. I feel like, ds is 4 and he is totally oblivious to any world events. Who has these 3 year olds that actively seek out answers to questions about world tragedies?

And as for racism, my ds has played with african american kids, mexican kids, oriental kids, and never even seemed to notice there is a difference in skin tone between them. The only thing that even seemed to interest him was the mexican kids switching between spanish and english, which allowed ds to practice some of what he's picked up on Dora. I would say maybe my kid is just not inquisitive, I'm not the type to kid myself and think ds is a prodigy, but he is very curious, and seems as smart as a four year old should be. He asked me a couple weeks ago why a man was in a wheelchair, and I told him the chair was so he could move around, because for whatever reason he wasn't able to walk or was too uncomfortable to walk on his legs like us. I pointed out how there were wheelchair ramps and doors that opened automatically because there are a lot of people who use wheelchairs. I didn't tell him about crushed spines. He seemed to accept my answer. When he does ask me about why Timmy or whoever has curly black hair I will be just as straight forward. Kids just want a quick answer. They are a heck of alot smarter than people give them credit for.

And man does the notion that white people are solely responsible for racism make me steam. I have been discriminated against too many times to count. I have been ignored at the counter because of my blond hair, as people pushed me out of the way in Mexico City. I have feared for my life because of my glaring whiteness in riots in Orlando and Dallas. I have stepped onto a Greyhound bus in Alabama and had people throw things at me and yell at me to take the next bus, because I was white. My girlfriend lived in Kuwait, and she is also very white, and she was a victim of much racism. Everybody thought she was a Russian hooker. They threw things at her too.
Was there something I could have done in those situations to fix it? Was I responsible for the racism? No, I was simply trying to live my life, and was in fact a victim of racism. Everybody is responsible for it. For someone to say otherwise makes me suspect that person has never been in any of the above situations. Those situations didn't make me hate other races, I understand the anger behind their behavior, but it sure allowed me to let go of the guilt I carried around in my heart for the behaviors of my forefathers. I have nothing to do with what my forefathers did. But the people that shoved me and called me honky or skinny white ----- sure have everything to do with what they did.
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#83 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 02:16 PM
 
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Okay... Fine. You are protecting your children from the ugliness in the world. You are doing your best to raise your children free of racism. Good. But that is not anti-racist. It's just simply not-racist. It's not the same.
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#84 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 02:21 PM
 
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Do you turn off the tv when a rape scene comes on, or two men are beating up a woman, and your dc is in the room? I bet you do, even though violence to women is also a very real issue.
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#85 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 02:22 PM
 
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I mention about the AA saying "sp*c" simply because that is the most resent racism my children have seen. It was a mater of relevance. My kids didn’t ever hear that term until they heard it from an AA mouth. I had to counter act that. My son (11 on the 16th) did question it! and with reference to the Civil rights movement. He did ask isn’t that why we had the Civil rights movement? And how can someone that had to fight for rights feel that way towards another person.

I have had various things in my life that have made me question how I was taught about racism. My parents are racist. Not as racist as their parents. They did/do try to change their views, but the older I get I notice how they have done things it is only one color. They have held onto other prejudice.

My first memories were of being the only white family in a southern black neighborhood. Then I was "privilege" to move to a white neighborhood (we were the poorest in the neighborhood aka the trash in the neighborhood). Then I moved back to a majority AA neighborhood. I gratitude from a school that was approx. 95% black. So I got to see "privilege" and "underprivileged". I my high school there were issue and one of the most profound moments I had that made me see we need to change how we teach being good to each other was in speech class. We had an AA get up and say "I hate all white people." It really made me think about why she would say that. Then how my classmates reacted to her made me rethink the flow of racism. They were supportive of me and asker her how she would have felt if I got up and made that declaration and said her hateful words. They question and challenged her own prejudice.

My ex-bil is black. He could tell you some stories about how his family treated my sister, just because she was white. He jokes about his parents would rather him date and marry a heroine addict than a white girl. His family is now not happy that he is dating a Mexican with African roots. And his family has asked him why can he ever date a normal black. He is accused of being a “traitor” to his race.

My sil is Japanese. She uses the phrase "Jew'ed down". UGH!! I did challenge her on this.

My oldest child has see other issues and we approach them as they come. We use T.V. and Books as starting points for discussion. I tell my kids it is ok not to like people but if the only reason you do not like a person is because of how they look then it is wrong.

I don't disagree that whites are racist, but it only fixes a small part of the problem if we just tell/teach white people that have to treat AA nicely? It doesn't teach ALL people how to behave to others. Just addressing one issue doesn't address teaching respect for all the different "isms". It doesn’t teach white people to teach other people right.
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#86 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 02:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kama'aina mama



Okay... Fine. You are protecting your children from the ugliness in the world. You are doing your best to raise your children free of racism. Good. But that is not anti-racist. It's just simply not-racist. It's not the same.

This is like a deprogramming Kama. It takes a loooooooooot of work. I get angry too, especially since I don't have the luxury of pretending that just because my kids play with lots of different kids that I am teaching them to not be racist. I have experienced people leaving the playground many times when my children and I arrive. I even remember a little 4 year old white girl complaining (within earshot of my family and I) that she was afraid of my then 20 month old son who was nowhere near her. Her father said, "it's ok honey" and then eyed us like he would pounce on us if we dared to sneeze.

I doubt her father thought he was a racist. After all, when my white husband showed up he loosened up a bit....just a bit.

Also that bit about children not seeing color till seven or eight is unbelievably incorrect. Maybe that is the case for children who don't see anyone who doesn't look like them, but in terms of development children actually start to notice these things around 3 or 4. That is what my textbooks say. I have noticed it to be true with my own work with children and in my own house as well.

Also, a white person experiencing discrimination because they have white skin is NOT anywhere near the same as being a person of color and experiencing racism on a daily basis REGARDLESS of where you go. You still have the option of retreating to the safety of white havens, you still have the entire power structure of this country built to benefit you as a member of the superior group. POC, especially black people who are at the very bottom of the American racial hierarchy, do not have that option, period. To try to compare occasional experiences of discrimination, to having to be a POC in a racist society is woefully ignorant and insensitive at best.
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#87 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 02:25 PM
 
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Do you turn off the tv when a rape scene comes on, or two men are beating up a woman, and your dc is in the room? I bet you do, even though violence to women is also a very real issue.
Unfortunately, we can't turn off racism in our society Aden's Mom. Not even white people have that luxury. It's everywhere.
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#88 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 02:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Marsupialmom

I don't disagree that whites are racist, but it only fixes a small part of the problem if we just tell/teach white people that have to treat AA nicely? It doesn't teach ALL people how to behave to others. Just addressing one issue doesn't address teaching respect for all the different "isms". It doesn’t teach white people to teach other people right.

Racism is primarily about power. It is not just about having to hear bad things sometimes or even often. I think the main problem here is that many people are trying to address racism without actually understanding what it is.

Let me ask. Did you ever figure out why your friend made that comment about hating white people?

Kama I'm really wishing we had finished that anti-racism project we had started on eons ago.
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#89 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 02:33 PM
 
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Kama I'm really wishing we had finished that anti-racism project we had started on eons ago.
My recollection is that it went about like this is going.
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#90 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 02:34 PM
 
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And man does the notion that white people are solely responsible for racism make me steam. I have been discriminated against too many times to count. I have been ignored at the counter because of my blond hair, as people pushed me out of the way in Mexico City. I have feared for my life because of my glaring whiteness in riots in Orlando and Dallas. I have stepped onto a Greyhound bus in Alabama and had people throw things at me and yell at me to take the next bus, because I was white. My girlfriend lived in Kuwait, and she is also very white, and she was a victim of much racism. Everybody thought she was a Russian hooker. They threw things at her too.
Your post reminded me of when we were studing Marco Polo. One of the books talked about how Asian/Chinese of the time were not always nice to travelers/traders because of the thought less of them because they did not believe or do things the way they did. It lead of to another discuss about how to treat each other and how because people did things differently didn't make them bad or (as in American Indians) savages.

I do think there is age appropriate on how to discuss these topic. When 9-11 happen we turned off our TV because it disturbed my children. I have don't it with Katrina. This doesn't mean we don't discuss it but in small chuncks to what the kids can understand.
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