All ya'll mommies that know Karate, Yoga, Portuguese, and were voted Mommy of the Month in your group, I commend you.
.Now move over. ....
Last week, my little girl asked me casually what a white lady was. She heard it on television. I was the proudest mommy. You may think I should have higher aspirations as a mother, but I don't really care. She has studied black history month and we celebrate Martin Luther King Day but after she has learned and checked the right boxes, she stores all that in the back of her mind. She cried during certain parts of the book Amos Fortune last year, but her atmosphere has not modeled racism or segregation.
All but two of my children have blonde hair and blue eyes. They were raised in the South, and had the propensity to be racist because of who their parents were. Mind you, I said "were. Both my husband and I were raised racist. There was a difference between whites and blacks. We were warned not to intermarry, because it wasn't "proper" and we adopted many of the views we were taught as children as our own.. We didn't see black people in our churches and were told they didn't want us in their church and we didn't want them in ours. We heard the comments and cutdowns. We saw the hypocrisy, and difference in what we were taught at home and what we were taught at school. We had friends that were other races, but our inner thoughts were not automatically positive when another race was mentioned.
My husband had to transfer schools because of threats that were followed through with a gun by gang members. I was raped by 4 Mexicans at age 17. Needless to say, we had some very hard feelings about other races that were encouraged by experience, our peers and or mentors. That was until we had a real experience with Jesus. He changed us from the inside out. We received forgiveness for our sin towards God and Man, and healing from God for offenses done towards us.
We wanted to do something different with our children. I was so silly at first. I would not use color descriptive words to my children if I had to point someone out. I would say something like, "the lady with the purple shirt." Our children have attended all black churches. We have lived in neighborhoods where we were the minority and instead of hiding, we went out into our community and made friends. We have spent Christmas Eve separated from family because of our insistence on celebrating with a black friend. We enjoyed our atypical Christmas Eve festivities with our African American, college educated, friend at a Mexican Restaurant. The reason we chose not to celebrate with our immediate family is they were afraid he might steal something. You should see all the heads turn when our kids run towards him and he yells "There is my Grandbabies ."
I was determined to not have my children putting stereotypes on others. It is beautiful to see. This doesn't happen out of the blue. It is intentional. Racism exist in every country, but in our home it is not alive. There is no immediate mistrust, or judgment our children make based on one's skin color. They don't lock their doors when we ride through black neighborhoods, but I did when I was little. My youngest daughter can't name any friends she has that are different races because she does not think of them that way. It is not important to her. She thinks that she and her cousin (friend) Ally could be sisters because they both have curly hair. My children refer to Ally's mother as Aunt.
This was my oldest daughter embracing her early childhood friend. She is now, quite a few years older, and her best friend is Hispanic.
Love and peace has to be intentional. To break racial dividers, you have to cross them, or you will never know if you are really not prejudice. The night 9 people were shot in Charleston SC, we had two children in our home that were of different color.
I'm a proud Mommy because I know that my children have been given a beautiful gift of diversity. It is not me, but the grace and love of Christ that transformed a heart and invigorated it to go against whisper lies of hate and separation.