Is it me or has race relations totally deteriorated? The casual sprinkling of black jokes, Jewish stereotypes and, forgive me, the labeling of Asians as Oriental makes me scratch my head. Segregation is the norm and its just getting out of hand.
Case in point: a few days ago a co-worker calmly asked me about the racial makeup regarding a program that my work offers. She stated that a relative may be interested in the program but would be upset if she were the only person of her race. After I was able to speak again (as I was temporarily dumbfounded and struck mute by the sincere nature of the way in which she asked this question) I answered, “Well, now you all will know how we feel.” Inside I was thinking “What the fuck?” (Yeah, I cursed).
As one of two (no, I am not a part of the Borg Continuum) I know what its like to be either sought out as the moral majority for Blacks, the expert as to what all blacks like or to be overlooked and snubbed because I, as the chick with locs, most certainly cannot be the one in charge of anything. So to feel sowwy for Suzy White chick being the only one in the room? Uh no.
I know the day is coming when The Bee comes home embarrassed, dismayed and disgruntled by the ignorant fool calling her a name. In her short life she has been surrounded by a rich diverse world, neighbors, classmates and peers. Comfortable with all cultures and races she is well liked and respected (as much a tween can be) which makes it all the more painful. I know her day is coming. I wish it weren’t but all I can do is prepare her by treating her as the intelligent young woman that she is and pray that she is a strong enough character.
That this is even a topic of conversation or something that is a part of growing is sad. I wish there was some way to protect her I dread the day when it happens. I speak with her about the damaging things people can and will say to her. The behavior she may experience such as go into a store and the shopkeeper is closely following us around looking ‘busy’ when confronted. The way she may be passed over just because she is brown skin kid. The slight snubs that come with being ignored when she goes to play. The list goes on and on!
Some will say that I am being sensitive or that there is no such thing as racism. I call bulls**t. There is a war going on and there are no rules. The best i can hope for is that my child has the confidence she needs to believe in herself and love herself.
Working towards hope,