Wednesday, November 5, 2008

PLEASE Read This for Our Children!

I really hope that in this day of age, with the first African-American president in office, we are doing justice to the next generation we are bringing up by teaching tolerance. Of course I am passionate about this because my son is a minority and my future children will also be minorities, but our world can't change if multi-racial families are the only one's teaching our children about racism. It has to be everyone! Whether you are a white family raising white kids, interracial marriage with biracial kids, adoptive families, step families, kinship families, it shouldn't matter. Everyone deserves and needs the message of tolerance. So I want to ask, what are you doing to teach your children, not only tolerance, but appreciation and love for people who are different than you are, whether it's by skin color, cultural heritage, gender identification, sexuality, language, etc.? You, as parents, are the ultimate teachers for your children, and what you do matters! Remember, they learn more by what you do than by what you say.

Here are some things you can do to teach your children social justice. First, do not turn a blind eye to racism and prejudice. It does exist. By teaching your children that it exists, you are giving them the ability to see it for what it is and begin to abolish it. White privilege is taught unknowingly by our parents, teachers, and communities. You can stop this by acknowledging it!
This is probably the biggest and most important step. There are lots of resources online about teaching tolerance. My favorites are:

author Tim Wise, has a book called "White Like Me" and a website

I am referencing a list I read of questions for transracial adoptive parents to ask themselves, but I think it's important for ALL parents to ask themselves. Does my child have adult role models that reflect all races? Who does my child see on TV that positively and accurately reflect different races? Does your child see professionals of minority races on a regular basis instead of only working in service jobs? Do you have books in your house that represent characters of all races and are historically correct? Please, try to integrate this into your set of values for your children. Even if you think you don't need to, you do. It's your responsibility to foster a better world for our children. And it's always better with love.

I can not put into words the way I feel about the possible impact this current president can have on our lives. This picture says everything. It gives my son hope. And it gives me hope for my children's future. Because you see, if an African-American man can be elected as president of the United States, with our long history of racism and injustice, what does that mean for my son? It means that Mateo will know that he is capable of anything. He is empowered by his color instead of being defined by it. Obama has the potential to be one of the most influential role models for the upcoming generation of minority children. Let's pray he lives up to that potential.

And please, do your part in preparing our children for a new world full of diversity. It's very possible that in our lifetime, white will be the minority. So let's prepare for a time when we can truly be color blind.

Dear Mateo,

Today a black man made history. You were sleeping and have no idea what this means. But I pray that not only does this create a better world for you, but you can look at our president, see your face mirrored, and that will give you all the motivation and ambition in the world! I am proud of our country for rising up from our history and doing the right thing. I hope, Mateo, that you will learn about this election in the history books in school and feel proud to be who you are. A strong, smart, biracial American capable of anything!

Love, Mom.


Melodie Monberg said...

Thank you...and yes, please put me on your blogroll...I already added you! smile


matt.johnson1 said...

"It's very possible that in our lifetime, white will be the minority. And that's something to be proud of about our country"

Why is that something to be proud of? Why don't you also wish what you wish your Black son to the White children?

I think that was a very racist statement.

J-momma said...

maybe it sounded racist to you, but that wasn't the intent. i was referring to the entire writing as something to be proud of, not specifically the prior statement. but now that you bring it up, it doesn't sound right. not racist, but not right. but what i know to be true about myself doesn't change based on what other people think. i will change it however, to clear up any confusion. thanks.