Educating a bi-racial family on both White Privilege and Racial Profiling

As two white parents raising two black children and two white, we are in an interesting situation most families do not have. I have the responsibility to tell my two black son’s that for the rest of their lives they will be treated differently than their sister and brother. I also have the responsibility to raise my two white children to be aware of their white privilege. My husband and I have the obligation to raise our two black children in a world where racial profiling and racism is still alive and well.

Our love for each of our children is the same; deep, unconditional and never-ending. The reality that they all four will be raised in the same household, with the same rules, same amount of money spent, same opportunities for college, and same support for their future choices, but they will be treated very differently because of the pigmentation of their skin is a chilling truth. Just writing this makes my stomach hurt and the tears well up. I want it to be different. I hope it will be different. This was one of the reason’s we adopted two black boys. We could be a part of the change.

The following two excerpts are from a white man and a black man. They are only a small portion of the whole articles which were posted on globalgrind.com and The Huffington Post. They are both in response to the Trayvon Martin shooting. It is only when we actually talk about these things that change can happen. We must step out of our hiding places of ignorance and actually do something to make a change. I will teach my children to be careful, I will raise the awareness in my teenagers of tabu words like ‘white privilege’ and ‘racial profiling’ and I will pray that through them others may know change can happen. Until this becomes an actuality, I will stand as a family for both races fighting out for the reality I want to see.

“I will never look suspicious to you. Even if I have a black hoodie, a pair of jeans and white sneakers on…in fact, that is what I wore yesterday…I still will never look suspicious. No matter how much the hoodie covers my face or how baggie my jeans are, I will never look out of place to you.  I will never watch a taxi cab pass me by to pick someone else up. I will never witness someone clutch their purse tightly against their body as they walk by me.  I won’t have to worry about a police car following me for two miles, so they can “run my plates.”  I will never have to pay before I eat. And I certainly will never get “stopped and frisked.”  I will never look suspicious to you, because of one thing and one thing only.  The color of my skin.  I am white.” -Michael Skolnik

“My only son turned five years old last week. He is a handsome, articulate, energetic, intelligent, fun-loving and gentle young man. He is the apple of my eye!
There’s only one problem; he is Black.
And as his father, I am challenged to do for him what generations of African American fathers have had to do for their sons for far too long in this country; I must inform him that because of his unique blend of gender and pigmentation, there are a different set of rules with which he must contend while growing up.
Now, I, a latter generation Gen-Xer, must pass down to my post-Millennial son some of the rules of engagement for a Black man in this society: 1) If the police stop you make sure you stop in a well-lit area and don’t make any sudden moves. In fact, verbally broadcast your actions (i.e., Officer, I am now reaching into the glove compartment for my registration). 2) Always get the receipt after making a purchase, no matter how small, so no one can falsely accuse you of theft later. 3) It doesn’t matter if the white kids are doing it. Your punishment will always be much more severe if you are caught doing the same. This is also true for adulthood.” -Michael W. Waters

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Kari, my thoughts, prayers, hopes, and dreams for a future without the ignorance of racism are with you and your family.

Comment by CV Hartline

Thanks CV, so good to hear from you. Your prayers are much appreciated as well as your standing with us in this fight for all people.

Comment by Kari

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