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Raising a rainbow nation

Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.  ~Abraham Joshua Heschel

Sharon has posted a lot recently about the challenges of racing mixed race children. Even though I did not adopt my older two kids, I still get a lot of the same questions and comments she does because if you look at us, you could assume that we did possibly adopt them.

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I must say for the most part I ignore stupid comments and questions because otherwise it could get ugly.

Sharon’s latest blog post was about “Would you allow your child to marry a brown person?”. 

Lets think about this for a minute shall we. This question implies that you, as the parent, have a say in your child’s choice of partner which is a) extremely naive, b) an indication that you do not trust that your child is capable of making their own decision and c) rather racist!

My answer to this question (in relation to my white children). No I won’t allow my children to marry a brown person or a white person or any person because I have no right to forbid them or “not allow” them to marry anyone! We do not live in the 1900’s (or modern day India), arranged marriages are not how we do things here, thank goodness! And also, stupid person asking this question, I would rather my child marry a person of a different colour to them who treats them right than marry an asshole! Think about it! You kid can do worse things than marry a person a different colour to them!

I get asked a fair amount “Are they yours?

I want to yell “No they aren’t, I bought them from a Nigerian-Asian child trafficker to clean my house, do the ironing. I have just allowed them out today for the bi-annual dose of Vitamin D”

No one asks a white parent if their white kid is theirs so why ask me if the children I am with are mine? Again, lets think a little!

My all time favourite though is “Gosh you are such a good person

HUH? Why I am a good person? For loving my children?

Why is David a good person? For caring for 2 children who aren’t his? Would you still think he is a good person if they were white? Huh? Would you? Probably not!

If you are the type of person who thinks we need praise for loving our children of colour then you, douchebag, are not a good person! Good people don’t love their children. Parents love their children!

I tolerate these questions from children because they are questioning and learning and figuring things out but when grown up people ask me stupid things, loaded with racial undertones – I have no time! NONE!

 

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13 Comments

  1. Ankia
    30 October, 2014 / 8:54 am

    Very well put Laura. Shit like this make me fume….. Most of James’ friends are black as he reckons they are cooler (lol) and I’ve had people ask me how I would feel if he had a black girlfriend one day. Honestly, I’m not raising my child to rate / value people based on their skin colour and one day I hope he married a woman (or a man) who loves and respects him and will make him happy. I could care less if she (or he) is lumenous green, purple or blue.

    People need to wake the hell up or bugger off to Australia. That is all.

    • Jenny
      30 October, 2014 / 10:03 am

      Nothing wrong with Australia and not all South Africans who moved there are actually racists.

  2. 30 October, 2014 / 9:07 am

    Very well put! Like the way you don’t pussy foot around the topic

  3. 30 October, 2014 / 9:15 am

    Very well put Laura. People often ask if my girls are really mine because they are both much lighter then me. I have never been asked this question by kids only adults. In the beginning I used to laugh it off and now it just pisses me off.

  4. 30 October, 2014 / 11:58 am

    Amen sister! Amen!

  5. The Blessed Barrenness
    30 October, 2014 / 12:20 pm

    Preach it sister!
    Agree! Agree! Agree!
    And don’t even get me started on the “Oh you’re such a good person!” Or “Oh, your children are blessed to have you!” This really pisses me off. Because what they’re actually saying, or how I (perhaps incorrectly) interpret it, is that my poor little brown children would be nowhere without me, their good Samaritan, white mother!

    • Jenny
      30 October, 2014 / 1:16 pm

      I agree – I find that particularly insulting. And not just to you and your family but to mine too – as if I am a bad human being for having my own biological kids and not adopting and saving somebody else. Very flawed thing to say!

  6. 30 October, 2014 / 1:46 pm

    As I commented on Sharon’s post yesterday one has to be very naive too to think our kids see colour as we did as kids. Colour is not going not influence their choices at all.

  7. 30 October, 2014 / 1:59 pm

    It really astounds me that in this day and age where we are all supposed to be “enlightened” that this is still so prevalent. All I can say is that I hope to teach my children that colour is of no consequence as is gender. Love should prevail above all things.

    xxx

  8. 30 October, 2014 / 9:09 pm

    Pardon their naivety ! Very sad

  9. 30 October, 2014 / 9:53 pm

    This post is so cool, I want everyone I know to read it. Believe it or not, I’ve had similar comments (from my home town people especially) who view Jon as a different race because he’s Jewish (like, what?!). I was even asked how I would react when our babies came, because the person was under the belief that they would be “forced” to follow the Jewish religion because women are so suppressed in that culture.

    Anyway, well written you “good person” you! 🙂

  10. 31 October, 2014 / 4:29 am

    Sjoe! People can be fairly thick. I agree with you that kids questions are a bit different, they need a little bit of leeway, but adults should really be a bit more filtered.

    How odd that people would ask you if they’re yours. There a really strong resemblance between all three of you. You can’t really miss it.

  11. 31 October, 2014 / 9:06 am

    So well said! People can be so dumb. I didn’t know anything of your family structure and I too assumed you adopted them (I obviously haven’t been looking close enough because I can see the resemblance – but I digress) but never did I once think that you were not their mother – if that makes sense. I wish humans could evolve to a place where they see humans as humans and not as other for merely being a different skin tone.

    Kind of off but on topic: Did you know till the 60’s Aboriginals in Australia were considered animals under the Fauna and Flora act? Yasso!

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