Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Aren't you a Family?

Hi Blog World,

I didn't post an updated pic this week. No real reason. Just didn't feel like it. I plan on getting it together this week.

Okay, I've been reading today about ppl who have family members who reject them because they have adopted a black child (well, not that most will refer to their child as black if they come from AFRICA). WTF?? I won't even get into that nonsense because it makes my head hurt. Anyway, I just can't believe that a FAMILY would function that way. Not to brag or anything, but I was a great child!!! I couldn't imagine anyone not wanting me because of my race. It's the craziest thing I have ever heard of. It just goes to show you how deep this racism thing really is. So incredibly sad. A child's skin color to some ppl eqaul not worthy of being in your home and loved as one of your own? But I bet some of these same ppl would say that no one in this country is judged by race and we all have the same oppurtunities.

I have a huge extended family and couldn't imagine ONE of them ceasing to speak to me because they didn't agree with a decision I made in life that didn't involve physical harm to another. And I mean not one thing!!! They would tease and talk about me, but would never cut me out. I don't even know of anyone who has ever been cut out from their family completely. I know ppl who are only allowed in the kitchen because they have bad habits that have caused them to not be trusted around valueables, but no one would ever think they couldn't come for Christmas. THEY ARE FAMILY AFTER ALL!! Maybe it's cultural thing, and I'll admit that my world is mostly AA, but I have never heard of such a thing.

I thought about what would happen if I adopted a non-black child, and the answer was nothing. Don't get me wrong, black folks can be as prejudiced as anyone else, and my family is old school proud of their race, proud of their culture, and proud of being American traditional AA who have been in this country and can trace our ancestors within this country back to the 1700s. Which also means that they can be a little untrustworthy of anyone who is not black. So, I know there would be talk if I adopted a non-black child, but cutting me off would be beyond anything any of them would ever imagine. I would hear tons of gossip about how I had lost my mind but that would even fade after a bit of time. The child would be just another member of our family, so what if she was white, she's family now. The closest example is a cousin who does not seem as if he is genetically my uncle's child. My uncle asked my grandfather if he should get a paternity test. The child is five now. My grandfather asked him why would he get such a test since he's family now and a test ain't gonna change that. Family is family!

I just don't get it. I feel so sorry for ppl who have had that happen to them, or even have to worry that that's a possibility. But at the same time, I'm a little scared for the kids they are bringing into such a family. I know some folks think we make it up, but the black experience in this country is challenging and country of origin and economic status will not make anyone's child immune. They may not present themselves for years, but they will be there and it's dangerous to pretend they won't. Not to say that all ppl don't have challenges, but most of my white friends walk thru this world as an individual. I walk thru this world as a black woman with all the good and bad that institutional racism has bestowed upon me. And trust me, it's worse for a black man.

I can't remember where, but I saw a post about how a black family reacted very strongly when a white person called their 3 year old a n----r. It was obvious that the child was not upset until they say their family member upset, and the child remembered the incident, but wondered if it would have been no big deal if the adults didn't provide meaning to the word. My thought was this: I grew up with the full knowledge that my family would never let anyone do me harm even if I didn't understand the harm at the time. I ask, what would it have been like for that child to grow up knowing that their family allowed someone to say such a thing to them and not defend them 100%? For me, it's far worse to have taught a child that there is an ugly word than to have a child one day learn that their parents let someone insult them without coming to their defense. But I was raised to be a soldier who is capable of walking thru this world with her head held high, and with the full knowledge that no one gets away with treating you badly. Again, maybe that's not something that others are taught to place much value upon??