Thursday, November 6, 2008

Race

I am not black. I have never been judged by how I look. I have never been turned down for a job because of the color of my skin. I have never been assumed to be on welfare, uneducated, or less worthy because of my race. No, I have coasted by on white privilege, and not even known it. I do not understand what it feels like to be a minority in this country. I have not experienced hate, prejudice, intolerance, or discrimination (institutional or otherwise). I have blond hair and blue eyes and Eastern Europe ancestry. I have not had to fight to get respect in this lifetime.

But because I stood before God, a judge, family, and friends on May 23, 2008, and said that I WILL raise this little boy into a man and do what is right by him, I have to try to understand. I am limited in my experience and knowledge of how to raise a Puerto Rican African-American man. But my God, I have to try. And because I love my son with all my heart, I have to try. I may not know it all. I may make mistakes. I may miss things here and there. But I have to try.

We are not a white family anymore. We are a multi-racial family made up of Swedish, Native American, Italian, German, Puerto Rican, and African ancestry. I have blond hair and blue eyes, my husband has white skin and freckles, our son has beautiful dark olive skin and curly brown hair.

Today I read that a 9 year old biracial girl wants to be the first African American woman president. I've watched black grandmothers cry for the future their grandchildren can have that they never dreamed of. I've heard little girls and boys of all racial backgrounds yell with excitement, "he looks like me!" as parents looked on with tears in their eyes, knowing this day will change their children forever. I have felt that. Even with my white skin, and blond hair, I have felt that pride knowing that we are changing the world. For our children, we are changing the world. For Mateo, I am changing the world.

It may not be perfect. Racism will still exist. Discrimination and social injustice will still run rampant in our country and the world. But for once, hope is alive. I hear it all over the world. And hope can't be wrong. Hope breeds courage and strength, motivation and passion, with hope people can make their OWN change. Wake up people! Wake up Christians! There are more important things going on than abortion and homosexuality. Wake up and open your eyes! There's war, and not just in Iraq. There's hunger, and not just in third world countries. There are people starving for truth, hope, love, and someone to care about them. The Bible mentions these issues far more than it references the things we've been politicizing in this election.

Why don't we use our energy to send shoes to children in Africa who've lived their entire lives without them? Why don't we pool our money to support rehabilitation services to women rescued from the sex slave industry in our very own country? Why can't we stand together for justice and equality instead of arguing semantics and Bible verses? There are far more horrific things going on in the world than what I've seen people spend an awful lot of time fighting about.

Wish I could be as proud of my faith as I am of my country right now. But I will continue to have faith and hope for my brothers and sisters. I will continue to fight against social injustice and what I believe are the issues God calls us to. I will continue to look at my own sin and selfishness and have hope that will change too. I will pray for the people of my faith just as hard as I will pray for my country, my president, and my children. God bless.

6 comments:

Melodie Monberg said...

amen and amen. Thank you again, for being real and honest!

cathy said...

Another "outcast" Christian on your side ;) I might just have to quote you!

Mrs. Baker said...

Diito what Cathy said...beautiful post.

Rachel said...

Very inspiring. Loved it. Although you have to remember that people tend to feel the strongest about issues that are affecting them personally. For example, you have been more passionate about race because your family is now biracial. I have been passionate about equal rights because my closest brother is homosexual. Unfortunately, this means many issues, such as hunger, poverty, disease, and genocide go unnoticed because it isn't happening to them. Hopefully the country can become less self centered and work together on every issue, whether it is directly effecting them or not.

J-momma said...

rachel, i absolutely agree. the passions we choose to fight for are often due to the circumstances we are in. that's why it's important to listen to one another. we all have something to learn from one another.

M-o-m-m-y said...

You are a courageous and amazing person! I couldn't have said any of this better! All it takes is one person to start the change, and you and your husband are making a HUGE difference for far more people than Mateo and Maya, but they ARE 2 lucky little angels!