Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Something to Talk About

When I picked up SnapDragon from school Friday he said as a way of greeting:

"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, the ummm, the c-c-c.  I don't remember."

I confess I didn't know what he was talking about right away.

The above picture popped into my head, but those are Sunflower's little children.  Then I thought he was promising me four grandchildren but he wasn't--though I plan to hold him to it.  By the time he finished I realized he was quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. but I didn't know the ending either.  I guessed character, but SnapDragon said no.  He thought it was something like context.

It is the "content of their character."

Once we adopt I live in a country where this dream is only achievable for 3 out of 4 of my children (and that not even perfectly achievable).  I am not sure what steps need to be taken for my nation to achieve this dream, but I want to be one who takes those steps, fights for those steps, and encourages others to take those steps.  I believe one of those steps (and I'll admit I don't really know squat about fighting racism) is for people to talk about race.  Open dialogue is how we can change our ideas and perceptions, expand our hearts to other people's life experiences, and realize our own prejudices--if for no other reason than sometimes saying it out loud shows us how stupid wrong we are.  For this purpose, my adoption/book reviews/mamarazzi/Christianity blog will now add anti-racism to the mix.

Don't get me wrong.  I am not saying any of my 8 readers are racist.  However, all of the books on adopting internationally or raising secure children of color say the parents need to talk about and be comfortable talking about race.  I love this idea and jumped in with both feet.  Why wait until our child is home to start talking?  We have three children now.  I want to help them form their ideas of race.  Already I have had some fascinating conversations with the boys.  But I found I am not always comfortable talking about race, it is easy to fall into the trap of euphemisms,  and I am clueless about the extent of racism.  So talking about race in my blog is really about me learning and growing and becoming a little less racist each day.

Happy Martin Luther King Day! (a day late, but did you know children don't go to school on federal holidays?)


1 comment:

Adrian Roberta said...

First off, you have more then just 8 readers (-: And secondly....I love it and I'll join you in the open dialogue that we all need to become more comfortable with having!