RSS

Further reflections

17 Aug

Since my last post I’ve spent time reading other voices from all sides of the aisle on what happened in Charlottesville, as well as the larger picture of race relations.  I’ve tried hard to hear the underlying and competing views, but like must of us, our lived experiences feed into how we see anything, what side we find ourselves firmly planted on. 

It’s past time for all of us to reflect deeply on our own views, our morals, our way forward.

I’ve also spent the past few days reflecting on how I was raised, how many of us were raised, both the good and the bad and the privilege in being raised in homes where race wasn’t part of discussions to any degree, because it wasn’t a necessity.  I was raised in a rural northwestern town/city that was overwhelmingly white except for the Native Americans.  I didn’t see Native Americans as different that white people, they were dad’s patients, they came to the office, he did house calls to their homes, our friends from Church shared our table, we shared theirs, exactly the same as white people in the community.  Missing in our home were discussions to any degree surrounding race, mistreatment of people of color by white people, racism, the horrors that had happened, were still happening.  We were taught by the mantra that actions speak louder than words – and they excelled at setting examples, both by word and by deed, of that, there is no doubt.

It wasn’t until high school when I first realized that people treated others different based on race, and/or their perceived qualities being worthy of acceptance.  A time when I was also deeply processing all that being adopted meant, one of which was that I was perceived as different from those conceived and brought into the world by a married couple and kept.  I wanted to be accepted, I also rebelled, it wasn’t good, it also made me deeply aware of prejudices people didn’t know they had, that deeply hurt me, hurt others.  I learned more when I married and hit the road, how ugly human nature can truly be, as well as how spectacular others could be.

So, while discussions on race weren’t part of my upbringing, I did learn by their example that treating people different based on their race or origins was not acceptable.  I also suspect there are many of us who were raised that way, hold the same feelings I do, but we’ve never had bold, deep, conversations about beliefs others hold, and it’s hard to push through and talk now when it’s deeply needed. When it must be talked about once and for all, that we (us) change our ways, views, and most importantly, our actions.

I deeply appreciate the on-line community I have, it allows me the privilege of being with others, a social outlet, and just as important, a learning opportunity as well.  I’ve also had the privilege of learning from people on twitter, highly educated, well-known people I’ll never meet, but listening to their words offered me the opportunity to reflect, consider, learn, get, in a way I’ve never seen before.  It’s also opened my eyes to the deep pain brought from racism and the actions done to them, their family and friends, generations after generations.  My understanding of the experience of being a person of color in America has undergone a rapid expansion.  I still can’t imagine what it would be like to be a person of color today, I’ve had a glimpse into what it would be like, and that mere glimpse is enough to tell me that we (us) need to sit down and listen, hear the pain, hear the exhaustion, the frustration, learn from them and stop being the problem.

I’m challenging all that read this blog post to challenge yourself as I’ve done.  Right now in the adoption community we (white people) must step up to the plate.  Not just transracial families, all families in the adoption community (and elsewhere as well), need to listen, learn, reflect, change, and above all, talk about race.  We need to evolve into better people, be part of the solution, not the problem.

 

 

Advertisements
 
5 Comments

Posted by on August 17, 2017 in Adoption, adoptive parents

 

Tags: , , , ,

5 responses to “Further reflections

  1. TAO

    August 17, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Post worth reading: There Is An Answer to Racism https://welderbeth.com/2017/08/16/there-is-an-answer/

    Liked by 1 person

     
  2. Lara/Trace

    August 17, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    I was raised by a bigot and racist. It was clear to me as a kid to steer clear and there was no way to understand where his racism came from, Tao. He adopted me but I didn’t adopt his views. I posted on FB today that I have ancestors who were slave owners – monsters. They were. I found out when I was writing my memoir and doing my birth ancestry. It is upon us to know who we are and who we are not.

    Like

     
    • TAO

      August 17, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      I’m so sorry, there is no understanding – I’m also sorry what you found in ancestry. The whole thing hurts my heart and I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you, the one living it. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

       
  3. TAO

    August 17, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Another voice: A Letter to my mom https://changesails.com/2017/08/15/a-letter-to-my-mom/

    Liked by 1 person

     
  4. cb

    August 17, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    “My understanding of the experience of being a person of color in America has undergone a rapid expansion.  I still can’t imagine what it would be like to be a person of color today, I’ve had a glimpse into what it would be like, and that mere glimpse is enough to tell me that we (us) need to sit down and listen, hear the pain, hear the exhaustion, the frustration, learn from them and stop being the problem.”

    I think one of the tiny glimpses that helped change my own views was when from being on forums when I realised that one was only considered an “acceptable adoptee” if one acted in a certain way and it made me realise that if that is something that is difficult to put up with even though for me it is only every now and then, how hard it must be for POC who have to go through life being judged and having to watch themselves all the time, knowing that they may be “accepted” if they “fit in” to how the majority wants them to be but one slip up and all the above may be seen as nought in the eyes of the majority.

    I remember someone saying that POC are judged by their criminals, by that I mean that when white people see white criminals, we think of them as being criminals and we don’t judge our own race by those criminals, yet when white people see POC criminals then white people use them to judge the criminal’s whole race.

    Liked by 1 person

     

Tell me your thoughts, but please be nice...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: