I’m Sick and Tired of All The Racism in the World

Warning: This is a rant.

I’m sick and tired of all the racism in the world.  I know, I know, this isn’t a profound statement.  Many people would agree with me, in fact it seems like most would publicly.  But what pisses me off is behind closed doors when real opinions seems to flow more freely.  Sometimes people seem crack little jokes that are supposed to be funny, but in all honestly they are just ignorant and insensitive and close minded.  Oh, and completely and utterly inappropriate.  And I cannot help but think that if you are willing to make the joke, then on some level you must agree.  I heard once that 80% of things people say as a joke are things they actually believe and just aren’t comfortable stating as truth for fear of social rejection – I have no idea if this stat is true, but I kinda think it could be.

So, here’s the thing.  I grew up in a small, very Caucasian community in a red-neck part of the world.  In fact, in all my 12 years of schooling – elementary, secondary and high school – there was only one African American kid in the school and a handful of Asian kids.  I was friends with them, but not once did I think about what their entire experience must be like outside of those who were friends with them.  It just didn’t cross my mind that people might be mean to someone based purely on their skin colour.  (Isn’t it wonderful being a naive kid?)

At times, I’ve figured I was dropped from a tree and must have bumped my head on a rock when I landed because it seemed like no-one else agreed with my views – you know, the liberal, socially conscious views.  The ones where men and women are equal.  The ones where all people have the right to food and water.  The view that those who have should help those who have not. And the view that skin colour should not matter.  I remember as a kid getting mad at some extended family for a racist comment, and lecturing them about how these comments will impact the younger children – yes, I’ve never been one to sit back and keep my mouth shut.  But alas, my opinion didn’t matter and nothing changed.

Photo Source: Adapted from Office.com Clip Art

Photo Source: Adapted from Office.com Clip Art

I grew up, and moved on.  I now live in a more diverse community, yet if I look around my neighbourhood I still see predominantly Caucasian faces.  This factored into our adoption decisions (my post on race and adoption can be found here and here), and while I’ve sworn that I will not share details of our adoption selections, today I am (with Mr. MPB’s blessing of course).  I won’t go into specifics (surprisingly there are lot of options that you can choose from when it comes to race), but we are open to other non-Caucasian races.  We know that this has the potential to make us stand out in the community.  We know that this may mean that our family will be a poster-family for adoption, as we may very likely be a rainbow coloured family.  We also know that this means I hear racist comments in a new way.  I am more attuned to ignorant comments, and offhand remarks.  I pay attention to the news and am deeply saddened by the stories coming out of the US – in a new way, unlike before.  I am now much more aware of just how important race is in the world, even if I don’t see it as important the fact is that others do for reasons I don’t think I’ll ever truly understand.

I now realize that these little jokes, and these racist based events happening in a different country (i.e. McKinney, Ferguson, etc.), will influence my child’s life – I’m seeing these things in a whole new light, as impacting me directly so much more than I ever thought about before.  And, what kills me is that we cannot protect our child from this.  We have to learn to navigate waters to support them as they navigate the waters. And clearly, we truly have no idea how to understand – how can we even begin to know how it feels to be judged based on the colour of our skin.  We simply have no idea.  And yet, we really need to try to understand.  We need to look for ways to help our child navigate these waters.

We already find ourselves correcting family members and calling them out for “innocent” racist based comments they make – in fact, we always have, but now it’s different.  Now we are aware that if our child hears these comments from within our family, it’s not going to end well as Mr. MPB and I simply will not let family speak this way around our child.  And honestly, if our own families are willing to make racist comments, the big world starts to look a lot more scary – what if we aren’t there to help when our child is 8, 13 or 21? Because the fact is there is no way we can always protect our child from the cruelties of the world (but can you blame me for wanting to?!), so how do we do that?  How do we teach our child that racism is not acceptable, when they may hear hurtful things from their own grandparents or cousins (we will do our best to police this and educate, but there are no guarantees)?  How do we teach our child that police are there to protect us, yet depending on their race they need to be careful and even interact with them differently then I do?  How do we teach our child that while we are colourblind in our house, the world is not?  How do we teach out child to stand up for themselves appropriately when the consequences could be catastrophic based solely on their skin?

I acknowledge that I always wanted to see racism stop, but now I have a vested interest in it. Honestly, how in the world can we continue to be okay with the state of racism in the world, and how do we truly change the world?  Because for the sake of my child, I want to change the world!

Photo Source: Office.com Clip Art

Photo Source: Office.com Clip Art

I generally believe the world is a good place.  I generally am able to find something positive in almost any situation.  But, today, I’m just made at the world.  I’ve had enough of racism and inequality based on nothing more than skin-colour.

I don’t expect answers to any of this.  I know that we are not the first family to navigate these waters, and I know we won’t be the last.  But honest to god, this is bullsh*t!

End Rant.

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50 Comments on “I’m Sick and Tired of All The Racism in the World

  1. I grew up in a town that sounds exactly like the one you grew up in. And I have many of friends from high school/my hometown on my Facebook feed, and when someone posts racist or homophobic stuff (which happens way too often), I delete them. I don’t want to associate with anyone who says, feels and thinks discriminatory, awful shit.

    I sincerely hope that your family members who make off-handed racist jokes/comments will increase their sensitivity and awareness. Before I came out, I heard a lot of negative things about gay people from my family members. But now they know better, and they do better. Maybe they still think homophobic stuff, but I don’t actually think they do. Sometimes it takes knowing someone who is differently coloured/gay/etc…to change someone’s perspective and feelings on it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, and I’m not calling people with non-white skin “coloured”. I know you know what I meant by that. Not intended to be disparaging!

      Liked by 1 person

    • You know, you talk about deleting people from facebook who make those comments, and that’s what we intend to do with people in our lives (i.e close family and friends). Of course we will try to educate them first, but if they feel the need to share such hurtful things in our presence, we will not longer be visiting them because we will not put our child into that type of a situation knowingly!
      I do hope our family is like your family, in that they learn and know better, but if they aren’t then they just wont be people we spend out time with. At the end of the day I believe family is about love and compassion, and so that’s what our child will grow up knowing.
      By the way, thanks for sharing and for understanding. I know you meant about coloured, so not to worry. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ive grown up with racism. Its a part of who I am and I cannot take it away. It would sting initially, but now I just dont care. Having said that, when we chose to make Canada our home, we purposely chose the city in the toronto area where there are more of us than not so that my child doesnt face it when growing up. You can teach /correct only so many and even then its impossible to change someone’s views. I prefer to keep my distance, maybe safety in numbers?

    Like

    • Thank you so much for sharing. I think it’s a sad state of affairs when someone, like you, can say that they just don’t car about the racism they face anymore – I wish the world was different because racism just shouldn’t be happening the way it seems to.
      And sadly I believe you are right, we cannot change everyone’s views, but I do believe with some education I may be able to change one or two views and if I can do that, then it’s worth it. (I also hope that when it comes to our family they learn that if they make these comments that us and our child will not longer be visiting them, as we will not knowingly put our child through that).

      Like

  3. Reblogged this on Ladylove & Babydust and commented:
    Perfectly stated by my blogging friend. I’ve been thinking a lot about race and social opinions of rainbow colored family’s as well as rainbow family’s in general. Seeing how Kate and I are already lesbians, she’s part African American and our children will be of mixed race as well, we have a right to worry. The world is not yet color blind and definitely has a long way to go before other races are considered equal as Caucasians are. It’s sad and down right maddening. Read her post to know how I too feel on this subject.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m carrying mixed raced babies, so I too feel the weight of this issue. My MIL grew up in a mixed raced family in the 50’s and often tells us stories of what it was like back then. We made a conscious decision to go with a half African American donor to simulate the combo of genes we would have if we could reproduce together, however, we are aware that there will be a lot more questions, stares and opinions than we would like. This post sums up perfectly what I cannot seem to put into words lately. So I have reposted it on my blog to share with others. Thanks for sharing your feelings on this topic.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love that you decided to use a donor that would simulate the combo of your genes – I think that’s so wise and wonderful as your babies will reflect you both!
      Also, I really appreciate how you can relate to this and you understand my thinking. It’s really nice to know that I’m not alone in my frustrations and my fears.
      Sending you love my friend. I know we’ll both work to help our children through any sort of discrimination as best we can.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank your for posting such a well worded view on racism with families. I loved reading my own thoughts said by someone else. I too know we will be their for our children and help them through any unnecessary bigotry and racism.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree 100% with this. All the crap going on here in the US lately is just sickening. We live a couple hours from Baltimore, and we really enjoy going there for a number of different reasons. But now, after everything that went on there (and still is some days, on a smaller scale) B has said that we may never go there again. This makes me mad. It makes me mad that all this stupidity is affecting so many lives…as I’m sure that there are other people who also are now afraid to go to such a beautiful and fun place. It sucks. It sucks that people hate each other, that they DON’T EVEN KNOW, simply because of what they look like. I wish people would wake up and think about what they do and say, think about how it affects others, and if it even makes any sense in the first place.
    Some of the older members of my family are very prejudice, because that’s just how it was when they were growing up, and they hold on to that now. When my sister and I are around them, if they make any derogatory comments, we yell at them and tell them not to talk that way around us. They look at us like we have 3 heads, but whatever. There were very few black families in the town I grew up in, I don’t think any Indian families at all, and maybe 1 Asian family. I’m thankful that I grew up with a better head on my shoulders and #1 wasn’t taught to act that way by my mother and #2 I didn’t learn to act that way by my classmates. It disgusts me.
    Sorry, I guess I ranted a bit as well. Basically, I just wanted to say that I agree with you, and I hope and pray that your babies don’t have to deal with any horrible, hurtful, unnecessary hatred in their lives. I think education will be key, by you and your husband, to help keep them happy and safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Amy, I adore your thoughts! Thank you so much for sharing. Your words “I wish people would wake up and think about what they do and say, think about how it affects others” are just perfect! I so wish people would think before they talk and wake up to how cruel their words are.
      Also, it sounds like you have extended family similar to mine, and I too work to always call people out on their inappropriate comments. I love the looks of “you have three heads” – I tend to think it usually means that I’m doing/saying something right. 🙂
      So much love to you my friend, and looking forward to the day that you get to show your child with all your love and compassion!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks! I just feel like you need to look at people for what they are inside, not outside. I only hope that I can instill these beliefs into my kids as well!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Well, yes. To all you’ve just said. Racism is much more complicated than we realize. And honestly, I don’t think we’ll ever really get passed discrimination of all sorts, but we can and should try. (I could go on about this, but will spare you.)

    The first step is for all families to talk about race with their children early, regardless of if they are all one race, mixed, or rainbow. I think we should see and talk about difference actually. It’s what makes the world exciting- not every one is just like me, and that is AWESOME. It teaches me empathy and compassion for other people.

    We can’t protect our kids from this, or any other hurtful comments. We can only hope that we give them the skills to know better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I adore everything you said here – it is our job to try to instill empathy and compassion into our children, and to love them no matter what they decide to do. As you say, our differences are amazing, and are worth celebrating not hiding from. I know for us, regardless of what race our child is, we will celebrate our world’s diversity and encourage compassion.

      Like

  7. It’s not your job to protect them forever. Your job is to raise them up to be strong. Strong enough to love, to forgive, to keep dreaming, keep setting and striving to be their personal best. Your job is also to encourage them to be empathetic – having compassion even for the scared, angry racists and homophobes and other haters, because no child ever said, “When I grow up I want to be a mean person.” And your job is to love them, no matter how they turn out, even if they make choices you don’t agree with.

    Not easy, but a beautiful thing to do anyway. You’ll see… 🙂

    Like

    • These are very wise words – the words of someone who has walked the path that I’m just staring down and contemplating. Thank you so very much for reminding me that it is not our job as parents to protect our child from everything, if we try we will fail and we wont be doing anything good for our child. Instead, as you say we have to encouragement them to their best and to be compassionate, and to act based in love and respect. And more then anything, as you say, it is our job to love through everything! Brilliance, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dumplin’ is biracial, and is the child of two lesbian moms. Sometimes I feel guilty about the crap he might have to deal with because of us and who we are, but I don’t want to shield him from it because it’s the reality of the world and I hope that he is aware of it so that he can be a difference maker. Not to say that I won’t take the time to lick his wounds and talk him through the ignorance and hate to better understand that the discrimination isn’t about him, but rather is a systemic issue. I grew up as one of those Asian kids in your class- one of a few. Not picked on as badly as the black or brown kid, but still known for my slanty eyes and extreme knack for math, and nothing else. You see, that’s the problem with racism, even if it seems like harmless stereotypes (my FIL is guilty of making jokes about Asians but doesn’t think they’re bad because it’s kind of like a compliment if you’re good with computers and math), you’ve still reduced a person to nothing but what you assume about them. It basically makes me feel less like a person when he expects me to relate to some joke about bad drivers (I’m an excellent driver! You should see me parallel park!), because I’m so much more than a stereotype. I’m a musician, an athlete, a food-lover, an experimental hobby cook. I am a mother. I am a loving wife. I am a survivor of childhood abuse. I have a baby growing inside of me who will also be more than a stereotype- he is my world, as I know your baby will be to you. It’s so unfair for people to reduce him/her to anything less than that.

    Like

    • Thank you so much for sharing! I am always touched by your experiences and really appreciate being able to learn from you. I think the one thing that both our children will have going for them is that we want to walk with them through any sort of negative stereotypes they maybe face with. We wont protect them from outside comments, because quite frankly we cannot, but we will help them along the way. And we will teach our child compassion and empathy and to be more then any stereotype that they are ever labelled with!! You and DW are going to be amazing mom’s!!
      P.S. I never parallel park – I mean never, because I am so horrible at it. I will drive blocks to avoid doing it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post.

    Ahhhh. It is a tragedy that we must spend time considering these issues, isn’t it? It’s interesting that there is just a certain amount of resistance that i anticipate walking around in this brown skin or that I spend time thinking about how to teach my daughter how to survive various scenarios where she may not be giving the benefit of doubt. And I still have to teach her to love others as she should lover herself and to be kind to people and not to judge people.

    “Isms” are learned behavior; it’s not a naturally occurring phenomenon. Everyone has to commit to stopping them, to teaching inclusion and celebrating both likeness and difference. It’s a challenge for all of us, but one that’s worth confronting.

    Like

    • I am learning so much from you and I am forever grateful for your sharing and educating. I firmly believe you are right, it is a challenge worth confronting, and we all need to be confronting it right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have always said that there is a little bit of truth to every joke which is why I am always extra careful when I tell a joke. And I am real quick to point out to people when their jokes are not funny 🙂

    Like

    • I completely agree with you! People need to start to realize that jokes based in race, sexual orientation, gender, etc. are simply not funny and not appropriate. We need to work to build compassion and these seemingly innocent jokes don’t help at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh sister – we have heard it ALL. The first two children we fostered were African American. We not only heard inappropriate comments from our own families but from complete strangers as well. The BALLS on some of these people. It’s truly sad.

    Like

    • People never seem to amaze me! I am so sorry that you have had to endure insensitive and down right mean comments from people – it’s such a sad part of our society.

      Like

  12. Civil Rights Activist, Fannie Lou Hamer’s, legendary quote, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” As a 72-year-old African American female, there have been far too many days in my life when I felt this way. Thank you for sharing your frustrations; and, I want to believe that one day Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Dream” will come true —- “I HAVE A DREAM THAT ONE DAY MY FOUR LITTLE CHILDREN WILL BE JUDGED NOT BY THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN BUT BY THE CONTENT OF THEIR CHARACTER.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I too want to believe that Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream will come true! And I hope people of all races continue to work towards making that dream a reality, because it is going to take everyone to make it a reality!

      Like

  13. I was actually in a diversity training for my school district when I read this post – how appropriate! I share your feelings and frustrations when it comes to racism. One thing I’ve learned (as a white woman) teaching in an African American school is that color blindness is a form of ignorance. Instead, I’ve learned to celebrate and cherish was makes us different. The world would be so boring if we were all the same! I’m heartbroken by what some of my students and colleagues have experienced solely because of the color of their skin, but I know I can help be a part of the solution rather than perpetuating a systemic problem on our nation.

    Like

    • Thanks for sharing Erin. I didn’t mean to imply that colourblindness in our house would mean that we wouldn’t celebrate and acknowledge our differences, what I meant is that we wouldn’t see race (or other things for that matter) as a reason to treat a child poorly or as something uncomfortable in our house. We will be celebrating and encouraging our child’s adoption and ethnicity to be talked about and celebrated as a good thing. Our house will be a safe place for our child to work through any of these types of things.

      Like

  14. This: “And, what kills me is that we cannot protect our child from this.” Everything going on hits me so hard now because I visualize my daughter in every scenario.

    Like

    • It’s so different how I internalize stuff now that I think about it through my kids eyes. I guess I kind of always assumed I’d have a different perspective once I have kids, but it’s interesting to see the transformation actually occurring.

      Like

  15. It makes me so sad and mad that you even have to write this post. We consider adopting in the future and we will be putting ourselves forward for children of other races. Some of my family are woefully ignorant and make stupid ‘jokes’ about race as they do about sex and orientation often too. I always pull them on it and am notorious for being the “PC” one and the one who gets really bloody mad at people for being ignorant dickheads but I am so glad that I am that way and I wouldn’t be any other way for anything. I know that any child I raise will be raised without jokingly discriminating against anyone and they will be a tolerant and a much better human than some of their distant family 😉
    I don’t believe you can really be ‘colourblind’ as that word suggests that there is nothing to be addressed. On the contrary the differences are there and they are there because society is slow and stuck in the prejudice of the past. Should you, or I, adopt a child of colour it will be necessary to confront the issues they face and to try and help them navigate these from our totally different perspective of white privilege. I have no doubt that you will do a really good job. You are going to be awesome.

    Like

    • Thank you for sharing – it sounds like we both fairly similar with our extended families and how we plan to raise our child.
      Also, I think I should say, I didn’t mean to imply that we would ignore the different skin colours, but nor would we treat a child of a different race poorly because of race (or for any other reason). Rather we will celebrate their heritage and ours, and ensure our family is a safe place to celebrate our uniqueness. I think you may have known what I meant, but I wanted to be sure. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. It’s great that you’re thinking about all these things and I agree with a lot of what’s already been written. I think the main point for white adoptive parents to understand is:
    1) You can’t protect your child from every hurt (this of course goes for every parent), and
    2) You will never understand the pain of being judged negatively on the colour of your skin. (You can sympathise but you come from a place of white privilege.)

    I don’t mean to be negative because it’s really important that parents think about these things. And I think you can mitigate the effects of a lot of it by instilling your child with a sense of pride in their skin colour and self esteem and a loving family.

    BUT… There will be a time when your child will see their skin colour as a negative trait. When he looks around and sees nobody else who looks like him in his family and maybe his community. When she sees her skin colour associated with negative characteristics instead of positive ones. And they will feel grief because of it. And colour blindness doesn’t help. My parents loved me fiercely and they were colourblind and it just meant I wasn’t equipped to deal with racism the first, second and third times I was faced with it. It was something I had to process (because at first I didn’t understand what it was) and then learn to deal with (through a strong enough sense of self).

    Even now as a 30-something, racist events that happen to me can still make me cry. (Not in person. I go home and cry!) That’s another thing: Even if they’re wrong, that doesn’t negate their capacity to hurt. Would it help to go home to someone of my own race? Maybe, a bit, and probably more when I was little. But it still hurts and it’s still something you have to deal with.

    Racism wasn’t the whole of my childhood but it was a really significant part of it. It took me a very long time – pretty much till adulthood – to feel neutral / positive about it. In the UK, my race doesn’t really have a positive identity so I had to develop other characteristics that I valued within myself. I still wouldn’t say I love my race. In many ways I think if I had a choice to be white I would be tempted to take it. I probably wouldn’t now, as my race is part of my identity and what makes me “different”-, but I would be tempted.

    You have to realise that being white is the default and the privilege that as a white person you aren’t really aware of. So you can be an ally and you can help your child find ways to celebrate his/her skin colour and his/herself. But be realistic that this is something they will have to learn to deal with alone… Coming from a strong and loving family, but ultimately their own path to tread.

    Like

    • As always, you are making some great points here! First, you are right, as I am Caucasian, I will never understand what my child will be going through when they face racism. But, I also don’t think I would ever try to understand. I will offer a listening ear, I will support in anyway I can, but I will never actually get it.
      All I know is that I will not be able to fix racism in the world, but I can try to help my child know that they are loved no matter what.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I am so, so very glad that you and Mr. MPB are going to be parents. ❤

    Like

  18. It sounds like you will be a really fierce protector of your children. Racism has not become worse in the States, it has been this unthinkably awful for a very long time, but Black Lives Matter campaign has seen people standing up and fighting back which is excellent. Because of this movement we actually know some of the names of the people who have been murdered by police and some change is happening. I think educating the people in your life is excellent, and you will probably make a difference. I’m not sure where you live but I’m sure that there would be political campaigns that you could support as well. In Australia we’ve had a few important demonstrations against anti-Muslim racism and against attacks on the Aboriginal communities. Best of luck with the adoption process!

    Like

    • Thank you for this, I really do appreciate your kind words. I think you make a good point that the recent “surge” of media reporting isn’t that racism is new or that it’s happening in higher quantities, it’s that people are now standing up and saying this isn’t okay! The more of us who do that, the sooner we will live in a different type of world – I know it wont happen over night, but with more education it will happen.

      Like

  19. When it comes racism, the only thing we can really do is ingrain it in our kids brains that it is not ok. That we have to stand up for not only ourselves, but for others. We have teach them about he injustices that have been committed and then give them ways to fix them. Lend a hand, volunteer, create groups at school and at church or in your community or town. It always reminds me of a quote from RFK. “Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others…he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope,and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring,
    those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance”. It only takes one person to make a difference, and if we are lucky, it will catch like wildfire, and the world will truly be a better place. I’ve got 5 people at home who believe that we are all the same and that we are all human who deserve the same rights and privileges. and 5 siblings who believe the same, and their kids believe the same, and before you know it, our kids will have kids and those words they heard will ripple out into the world and finally friend, finally, one day, change will come.

    Like

    • Thank you for sharing. I believe you are right, all we can do is teach our children right and wrong. And respect. Oh and compassion too. And if everyone starts doing this, with time it will be like a tidal wave of positive change. At least we can do our part and hope!

      Like

  20. Pingback: Why Don’t You Just Adopt? | My Perfect Breakdown

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