December 04, 2005

Blog Against Racism Day (belated)

I grew up in the almost entirely white town of Big Flats (guess the state.... nope, New York). I work in a school in central New Jersey now, and am so envious of the students in my remarkably racially diverse school. I missed out on so much, growing up in such a culturally monolithic environment. And I didn't even figure THAT out until I was well into my twenties.

When I talk with students about our son's two-mom status (as I am sometimes asked to do), someone inevitably asks me about whether I worry about how he'll be treated. And I do, to the extent that every mother worries about her child. But I am also tempted to say, "What, are you kidding me? He's a white male!" (I sometimes don't say it, but writing this I think maybe I should make a commitment to saying it.)

Knowing what I know, and having lived the life I've lived, I am much more concerned about how I will prepare our son to recognize, address, and fight racism than I am worried about the queer-related crap he might have coming to him. After all, he's got two in-house experts to help him sort the queer stuff out. Helping him grapple with issues of race and racism is a much more daunting prospect for me, in part because I still feel like I have so much work to do just in my own life. I think about this stuff all the time; parenting is not for sissies.

I think the next step will be to reach out and make sure that I've got friends who are thinking and talking about these issues as they relate to parenting, so that I don't have to figure it out all on my own. (Is there a Yahoo! group?)

I wish sometimes that we could stipulate racism, so that everyone could be doing the work of unmaking it. I can't believe how many people there are in the world who persist in thinking that racism is 1) a thing of the past, 2) not all that bad, 3) no problem of theirs, or 4) all of the above. Depressing and/or enraging. Thank goodness for artists. And now, maybe, bloggers. I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's posts.

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