25 July 2015

Having Privilege my Daughters Won't

I confess, since we started planning to adopt from Africa almost 4 years ago, I've thought a lot about racism and white privilege in our country. Like A LOT. I think I alternate between trying to find appropriate methods of guiding my children through a reality I don't have to face, trying to figure out how I can fight this war so that my girls will be protected [#saviorcomplex], and obsessing over it in hopes that I will somehow learn enough to feel prepared.

I'm currently raising white sons. White, middle class boys. They and I have the good graces of the world, and I feel it. I feel the wash of approval every time I'm in public with them. People adore my boys. I like to think it's because holy cow they are so cute, but I know their (and my) whiteness really is a factor.

This pic is old, but it's also precious. Also also, they're so white they might be pink.

On Tuesday we were at the grocery store, and one of the store clerks came up & gave me an "instant winner" sticker she found from the game they have here. And it struck me: would she have given this to me if my kids were black? If I was a black mother? I really don't know, and that is one of the saddest things I've ever thought. Not because more horrible things haven't happened (it was a sticker for a game), but because that is a reality that never goes away for some. It may someday be my own daughters who face that.

I can't show you her face, but this is Star's midsection and her gorgeous, gorgeous skin.

I struggle not to rage at the thought. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. It is. Raising white sons and black daughters is going to make me more angry than I've ever been. And it will tear my heart apart.

But.

I can prepare both my black daughters and my white sons to recognize, externalize, and appropriately combat racism. I invite you to do the same.

2 comments:

  1. You should check out JamieIvey.com and read some of the stuff she's posted about being a white mom raising black kids. It's Aaron Ivey's wife. They have one biological white son, two adopted black sons, and a black daughter. http://jamieivey.com/2015/04/29/raising-black-boys/

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    1. Thanks, Lindsay! I will check it out.

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