If you’ve been following our blog, you know that Adam and I talk openly about race in our family. Our son is 2, though, so I never in my wildest dreams imagined having a conversation about race with someone who isn’t able to use the potty, yet, although he is right on schedule according to studies.
But today, it happened.
There are very few pics of our son on the internet. I do this mainly because I want him to own his online footprint when and if he is ready to claim it. Another reason I do this is because people are just fucking idiots when it comes to pictures of kids on the internet and I have zero patience for the nonsense. This week, someone commented on a picture of him in a tshirt that says “I Love My Blackness and Yours, Too”. The person commented (and then deleted) that he couldn’t love his blackness because he is white. He then proceeded to tell me that I was trying to whiten my children.
Adam: The election is today and let’s just say Tabitha and I are kind of scared for our family. There are two major identifiers in our family: We’re interracial and we’re Jewish. This election has brought out both racism and anti-Semitism in fellow Americans. Tabitha and I have discussed both of these “isms” at length. “Did you see the latest video?” became a question between us, one that we used too frequently to refer to a video of another Black person shot by police or intensely mistreated because of the color of their skin. I grew up believing (and still believe) that the Holocaust could happen again. Continue reading
A few weeks ago, there was another spate of police shootings that involved men of color. I wrote about it for The Stir. You can read my thoughts here. In the interim, Adam and I attended a peace vigil in Brooklyn which highlighted that the problem of systematic racism is highly politicized. There were lots of politicians and policemen and the pandering was so disgusting, I had to leave. I went with some friends from our synagogue and was so heartened that many of them felt and expressed the same annoyance that the gathering was not solution-based.
Now, it’s out of the news.
Since then, there has been a terrorist attack, shootings of policemen and Melania’s ‘borrowed’ speech. It’s out of the headlines and I feel a strong need to not let it fade out of my life.
Stay tuned to hear what we are doing to try to make an impactful change on this very serious issue of systematic racism in America.
ADAM: Some of my best friends are black. Some of my best friends are Jewish. Those statements are supposed to somehow justify the next one which is usually along the lines of…”so I know how Jews are” or “so I know about the black experience”. Tabitha and I hear these statements from time to time and we bristle every single time. If you ever catch yourself about to say something like this, don’t. Continue reading
As the white parent in an interracial relationship, my experience with talking about race is very different from other parents of white children. I attended an event a few nights ago titled “Raising Race-Conscious Children” (more info at raceconscious.org), and the underlying discussion was to bring up race before it is brought up by the child. This can normalize the fact that people are different skin colors. For example, when reading a book, look at the different races of people in the book and point it out. Studies show that kids begin to see race as early as 6 months and begin to react at a couple of years and by the time they’re 5 or 6 are beginning to act in accordance with the beliefs but they’ve picked up. What I find so fascinating is that as a parent of a multiracial child, there’s no question that race will come up. He’s only one and a half years old and it already has come up a number of times. But for parents of white children, it takes an effort to raise the topic of race and to bring up a child who is aware of race.
I’m in a place of privilege that I don’t feel the stigma of raising a child who is a different race (even though he is) because our skin tones and eye colors are very similar. But I see the looks when my wife is with us. Continue reading
It is 2:12am and we are starting a blog.
And by we, I mean me, Tabitha.
Adam is fast asleep on the couch after coming home from a workshop with our synagogue about talking to your kids about race (more on that from him later) and Baby SBJ has been asleep since 8pm, making me officially my own hero.
Adam and I decided to start this blog because we talk about race and religion a ton. It may be a bit much but that’s our style. I was pretty clueless about being mixed race in the US until our son was born. As it turns out, he is super pale. I wrote about my experience with a child who could pass as white for Cafe Media and the Huffington Post picked up the article. Read it here. The coolest thing that came out of it was how many moms and dads shared their family pics and stories. It was amazing to me that so many families go through the same thing but it’s not a public dialogue.
I want to change that. Let’s talk about race with our kids. Let’s unpack that shit from as young as possible. That’s why Baby SBJ’s first words were “Black lives matter”.
I hope you’ll join in on our convos, even when you don’t agree with us and share your stories of race in the US as we share ours.