Does this picture make you uncomfortable? And I’m not talking about 2 kids in one carseat, the van was parked and turned off when that picture was taken.
Certainly not, why would it? It is a picture of two totally adorable children.
Let’s try this again.
Does this picture make you uncomfortable?
It’s Buzz Lightyear on Christmas, what’s uncomfortable about that?
I’m confusing you, I can tell.
These children clearly don’t make you uncomfortable. So why am I even asking these questions? Because they do make people uncomfortable and it’s because these two people created those three little people:
Now some of you are looking at this picture and you’re still confused. If you cannot understand why anyone would be uncomfortable, all I can say is a great big THANK YOU!
But not everyone reading this is so confused. Some of you are reading this post or have seen my YouTube videos and I make you uncomfortable. I might even make you angry. The very idea of a white girl marrying a black man may totally turn your stomach. You might wonder why I didn’t just find a nice white boy to marry and make little white babies and live the rest of my life happily ever after.
Then again, you might be a part of another group of people that thinks they’re ok with interracial relationships. You believe in racial equality, you’re probably Christian and perhaps some of your best friends, or your next door neighbor is black. You probably think that you’re ok with black people. You believe God made us all in His image and you believe the only difference in white people and black people is the amount of melanin in the skin. The problem though is that you automatically label a family like mine as somewhat less than yours. You look at me and think that I’m less educated, or that I’m not happy with my whiteness because if I was, I would have found me a nice white country boy who carried a can of dip in his back pocket and I would’ve married him. You may not even realize that you’re doing any of this, but when I walk into the door at a restaurant or at any social gathering, I can see it on your face. You can try to convince yourself that you think I have a wonderful family, that you think my husband is the sweetest man with such a generous heart, and that we make beautiful children, but it’s your lack of interaction with me that tells a different story. You smile and put on a front, but I know that deep down, this is probably the reason you hold me at arm’s length. This is probably the reason that I’ve been without close friends for the past eight years of my life.
I’m not one to jump to racial conclusions like many people so easily do when conflict arises. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt and I always try to believe the best. Maybe it was moving to a smaller, more country town than the one I grew up in that is finally helping me realize that I make more people uncomfortable than I even realize or want to admit to myself. So, with that said, I’m going to use this post as an educational tool for those of you who are in that third group of people I talked about: the ones who think you’re ok with my family, but deep down, you really aren’t. If you are openly and blatantly racist, we’ll work on you another day. But then again, if you have those issues, you’re probably not reading this.
So how do you know if you have a problem with me and my family if it’s all subconscious? If you’ve buried your racial issues so deep in an effort to “love thy neighbor” that you don’t even know you have a problem? Here are a few questions you should truthfully answer:
-When you met me, if you met me without my husband and children around, did you assume my husband was white?
-When I told you my husband was black, what sort of person did you picture in your mind? Did the mental picture involve baggy jeans, flat billed caps or gold chains? Did you hear rap music playing in the background?
-What did you assume my educational background was? (Why were you so surprised to find out I’m a Registered Nurse?)
-When I tell you that my husband is black, what do you think his profession is?
-What sort of house do you picture us living in?
-If you had the choice of inviting a white family over for dinner, or mine, whose would you choose? And if you choose mine, why? Is it just because you’re curious?
-Do you ignore my invitations but eagerly accept other women’s invitations for parties, get-together’s, etc? Are their husbands white? Do you show other women more consideration than you show me?
-Does it confuse you that I don’t wear brown lip liner, have obscenely long fingernails or wear my hair in a short, spiky haircut?
These are just a few questions that you should answer for yourself, because maybe you think you’re ok with my family, but maybe you’ve shied away from us and you don’t know why. This is why: we make you uncomfortable because although you believe that God made us all the same, on some level you don’t understand why Michael and I chose to spend our lives together and build a family together. It puzzles you that people choose to marry outside of their race because somewhere deep down, you think that people should stick with their own kind. After all, marriage is hard enough, why add anything else to it right?
If this post helped you realize that you do have an issue with me or my family because of our color differences (or blends, as my children are concerned), then I think you need to look long and hard at yourself and work on your issues, because they are yours, they are not mine. If you have questions, please ask. Get to know me, my husband and my children and decide for yourself what kind of people we are. Throw away the stereotypes and any preconceived ideas rattling around in your brain because none of them apply to us. Our lives and choices would really surprise you if you just took the time to get to know us.
If you are never able to make peace with yourself and truly appreciate my family (and families like mine) for what we are and who we are, then you’re missing out on some really great people. I’m not going to lose sleep over the fact that you look at us funny when we walk in the room, or you step to the side half an inch when we walk by. I’m not going to worry about the fact that you ignore me and I’m going to work to forgive you for your ignorance so that bitterness does not take root within my heart. If you cannot love and accept me and my family as we are, then you’re truly not worth my time or my energy. But know this, you’re not fooling me. I see through your façade and God does too.