Friday, August 3, 2007

Anti-racist Parent Meme

1. I am:
Caucasian and immigrant members of my family came to America from England (early 1800s), France (via Canada - late 1800s) and Germany (late 1800s).

2. My kids are:
I have a daughter and son from a former marriage that are genetically related to me and my ex (family came to America from Wales). My youngest daughter is African American and was born in the United States.

3. I first started thinking more about race, culture, and identity when:
My husband and I were in training to adopt my daughter. It was the first time that I had really had to confront white priviledge and understand how it affects how I see the world. However, I must say that it had been lurking in my mind for many years -- really ever since I was in second grade, living in the south, and came face to face with how difficult the living conditions were for many African Americans there -- I was delivering a ticket to a play I was in to the home of a black girl in my class and until then didn't even know how poverty could look and how connected to race the situation was.

4. People think my name is:
English -- it's actually Scottish (my husband's family came from Scotland -- but close enough).

5. The family tradition I most want to pass on is:
How we are there for each other through thick and thin.

6. The family tradition I least want to pass on is:
Ignoring difficult family problems and muddling through rather than facing the facts and coming up with a solution (painful though it may be).

7. My child’s first word in English was:
Not applicable -- daughter is only nine months.

8. My child’s first non-English word was:
See no. 7

9. The non-English word/phrase most used in my home is:
Totally English speakers here.

10. One thing I love about being a parent is:
Baby hugs. They are the best!

11. One thing I hate about being a parent is:
Lack of sleep. I thought she'd be sleeping through the night by now . . .

12. To me, being an anti-racist parent means:
Raising my child to have a positive self-image about herself, her looks, and the culture she was born to. I want her to know that she will face people who will judge her because of the color of her skin, but she will have the skills to not allow this to stop her from doing something she wants to accomplish (and also to educate some, too -- if she wants to). I want her to feel proud of her heritage and comfortable with her history as a transracially adopted person. We are working to forge connections for her in our community to help this happen.

You can read more about Antiracist Parent (ARP) at


millie said...

What a cool meme. I know I've been thinking a lot more about all of this since we started down the adoption path.

Deb said...

I also like the way you summed things up. I wish that I had some of the insights about racism and other isms before I brought my daughter home from China. I was totally astounded that she faced any issues at all.

When we have people of color (or any other 'isms) in our families, I think we are obligated to stand shoulder to shoulder with them and advocate for and with them.

I may be naive, but i do think we can change the world-even if it one person at a time.


Beagle said...

Great meme. Great topic.

The number of -isms that exist out in the big bad world scare me a bit. I wish we could all just get along.

Anonymous said...

So nice to cyber-meet you. I am glad you said hello so I could visit your blog. I love this Meme. I am going to have to do this myself.

Take care.

Andrew said...

I drive a taxi in Vancouver BC and have come to understand racism. I am white and privileged. But most of the time wish I was invisible.

It's sad world.