Trayvon, Skinny White Women, and Thailand

~I started this post around the time of the switchover to wordpress, and I held onto it to make sure it didn’t get lost in the shuffle.~

ACCIDENTAL GUIDE TO WHAT’S ON MY MIND

1) If you don’t know who Trayvon Martin is, look here.  He is speaking loudly.  He is only saying what was already there.

Just as 9/11 made us feel ‘unsafe’; we didn’t polarize over race the day Trayvon died.  We were as unsafe on 8/30 or even 9/10.  We just weren’t paying attention.  We were as divided on race on February 25, as we are today.  Nobody had called us out.

2) People say, “I am not racist.”  Often followed by, “I don’t think of your girls as black.” My daughters are bi-racial.  Here in the “Lost Cause South” they are “judged by the color of their skin, not the content of their character”*.   Why not think of them in terms of their personality or their individual accomplishments?  For example, “She is a leader,” or “She’s a good actress.”

3) I delayed addressing this issue, then I saw my heart this week and I have been hating myself.  I had to look in the heart of a asshole, bitch, selfish person.  {the whole story is too much of a digression…suffice to say… It wasn’t race,but it was arrogance.}

My attitudes are invisible to me but very visible to others.  How do people tolerate me? I prefer to ignore the issues and give high sounding answers when shit stuff gets ugly.”

4) I don’t get to say anything.  No one cares about a white woman’s opinion on race.  Much as it is irritating for a skinny person to bitch about her weight.  The truth is, all we can do is enter the presence and make the journey. Be willing to be called out.  Be willing to apologize.  Be willing to ask questions that make you look foolish and take the answer even if you get yelled at.

Take the chance of falling in love.

6) Months ago, My girls were sitting on a bench on either side of a friend.  Another child began to laugh and when she could recover, said, “You guys are an Oreo.”

How? Now.

In what way, are they component parts of an Oreo?  Subsequently, this child referred to my child as, “My Oreo.”  I would have talked to parents, but every time I do, “Racism is not tolerated in our home.”

Right.

7) In their secret, non-parentally-sanctioned IM conversations, Type A and JoeFriday talk about  racist treatment by their peers.

8( Mickey attended the mandatory meeting for co-op registration because I was contagious.

Each instructor described their class. Mickey wished he had walked out.  The U.S. History teacher confessed with tears his passion for students to know what America was like before [the standing President of These United States of America] was elected and ruined it.  He visited Korea and Thailand and did not recommend them.

Lord, Have mercy.
Christ, Have mercy.

9) This post was inspired by Dumb Mom who responded with uncommon grace, Jennifer @ Momma Made It Look Easy who responded with a mother’s heart; and by every mother who ever received that call.

10) The only solution I know is to never ever be such a presumptuous imposter as to be satisfied with my work in this area. I know what I saw and heard growing up.  I don’t know why God chose to honor me with these children and my friends.  But I know that I will never be okay.  I will never be finished.  I will never arrive.

*with apologies to Dr. King who actually said:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation
where they will not be judged by the color of their skin,
but by the content of their character.”
– Martin Luther King, I Have a Dream Quote

 

Comments

  1. I love you so much. I can not imagine what it is like to be the mother to your children, or the pain of knowing that they are hurt by this ignorance. But I do want you to know that I’m doing everything in my power to ensure my children do not grow up to ever judge a person by their appearance. Regardless of what shade it comes in.

  2. Thank you for sharing our story, Maggie. I hope it’s inspiring like many of the things you shared here. And, are there people in America who don’t know who Trayvon is? I know, thinking that’s probably naive, but really. I don’t even watch the news and I know.

  3. It’s sad that skin is still something judged. Skin. That’s all it is. Simply color.

    Doesn’t make up character, intelligence or integrity.

    But yet there are those that seem to think something of someone simply because of color.

    Often, I’m referred to as a bitchy redhead. Because well, all redheads are bitchy….right? In jest, I refer to myself as that sometimes. Maybe I am, who knows. But my hair color doesn’t have anything to do with my attitude.

    I will say that I’ve seen that color thing go both ways though. Nothing is ever a one-way street. Certainly doesn’t make it more tolerable or accepted though. Not by a longshot.

I love it when you sass me. Please leave a comment.

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