Thursday, September 6, 2007

Me a Racist?

Yesterday I posted on the Jena 6 and have received a few responses. Great. That is what I wanted and I'm sure many have said there she goes again. That is the typical response I normally receive when it comes to race. If you read the comments posted I received a very nice comment not agreeing with my opinion(Yes, I even post those too). That is fine, I am not the end all but what I want to do with my blog is working. I want to bring the issue of race to light. It is here and it is not going away. (BTW...I also looked at the number of times I have talked about race since I started posting and out of 64 posts it has been 6 shoot me!)

We (people of color) live it (race issues) EVERYDAY and as I said, the more things change the more they stay the same. I am not a racist but a realist. As you (Ms. Annon.) stated yes love, education and family IS important BUT not in lieu of our culture this MUST be a part of your child's home life. You see, the world is not fair and as a black educated woman having lived many places and able to move in many different arenas I see the discrepancies clearly. I have friends that are adopted and friends that are not. I have friends that are aware of their culture and friends that are not. Even I did not become as aware of my culture as I am today until I was an adult and trust me I am a much happier person today for it. Maybe this is why I truly understand the importance of it.
Be clear. I am an advocate for adoption no matter what color the parent however, I (Tami) am of the school that you cannot adopt an African "black" child in a vacuum. I will even go one step further and say no one should be adopting a child from another country in a vacuum...their culture (and race if appropriate) should always be included in their upbringing.
Race and diversity are tough issues and most people are normally uncomfortable talking about them. I am not. I can not be. I live it every day. If I stop talking about it then what happens to me, my family, my children, my community? If I stop talking about it what happens to you, your family, your children, your community. What happens to us and our country? I am not talking about race to be devise. On the contrary I am talking about race to make sure that we are inclusive. Selam.


trashawn said...

Well said Tami. The only way to have true peace in the world and acceptance of all cultures is through dialogue. You have definately opened to gates. It's interesting to me that someone would respond that way to your Jena 6 post. [Hey anonymous, have you read what's happening down there?]Any living, breathing, God fearing human being should be appaled. It unfortunatly has to do with race, but believe it or not, that is the way of the world. Racism does exist, and it is not wrong to expose injustices when they arise. Ignoring the problem, and pretending it is irrelevant is NOT the solution. So Bravo to you Tami for maintaing a blog that is "real and explores political and social issues of the day". If we do not rally to stop injustices such as the one occuring in Jena, who will? Would apartheid, the holocaust, and slavery have ended if no one spoke up!! Think about it.

haze said...

I could be totally wrong here, but I got the impression that your DC reader has been working through the many aspects of transracial adoption and was feeling a little disheartened. Maybe she feels she won't be able to provide the continued guidance that her black child will require. If that's the case then I have to feel it's good she make this decision now before she finalizes her adoption. Or maybe she'll come around to see that she can do it (as many other women have) and that there is a lot of support and help out there for transracial parents.

And good for you Tami for talking about this on your blog. See, it's all about education and maybe this lady needed to read and understand more about racial disharmony in order to make a more informed decision, either way.

Keep up the good work, my friend!

Anonymous said...

Haze hit the nail on the head regarding working through all the transracial issues. I fear I am getting in way above my head. I don't know if I have the background and life experiences to understand what my child would face on a daily basis. I am not completely discouraged though; I believe I have it in me...I think...ugh...Trashawn, you are right also. Until I read Tami's comment yesterday regarding Jena 6, I had not heard a word of this. I apologize...I read the paper and watch the news, but had not heard of this. I am appaled and think the DA should be the one in jail. What those white students did is unforgivable. I live in a multi-ethnic neighborhood and life is good here, or so it seems. Unfortunately I may not be as aware as I should be regarding the racism that exists in this country. I will work through my own issues. keep it coming. selam.

Tami said...

Anonymous I hope you don't feel discouraged. If you want to email me off-line you can reach me at I'm actually pretty friendly. Again...I just think these are issues that don't go away. Enough said. Selam. :-)

chou-chou said...

This Jena crap scares the crap out of me.

Tami, I'm so grateful for your posts and discussion of these topics. And Anonymous - I do understand the feeling of overwhelm.

As a white person, I've been able to remain ignorant of most race issues - skating through life enjoying white privilege without even really knowing what it means. I doubt I'll ever *really* get it, but I am going to make every effort to.

One thing that helped (but had a holy-crap-can-i-really-do-this effect on me) was a full-day workshop I went to on transracial adoption. We got to hear from adult people of color who had been adopted by white parents, and the challenges they faced.

Granted, those people grew up a while ago, and things are different now. But not completely different. And I know I have a lifetime of issues ahead of me because I am creating a multiracial family.

I've always been on the liberal end of the scale on social issues, but not I need to step out from my passive stance and become an active anti-racist activist.

Otherwise (in my belief) I have no business bringing a Black child into my home.

Melissa said...

Anony.. your thoughts are very real and is something we are all experiencing.. along racial, ethnic and cultural lines. These feelings shouldn't scare you away from adoption but give you a glimpse of what's to come. I know that we all experienced this in our lives, esp. as teens, wondering why the heck our parents just.didn' Although that was a generational thing, adoption poses more questions that are the obvious along race.

As a white soon-to-be mother to a black child, now is the time to address how will I explain the Jena 6 situation to my child. How do we address the race questions that are undoubtedly going to be asked.

I'm adopting from Uzbekistan and am trying to work through this cultural vacuum that Tami brought up. It doesn't discourage me.. but encourages me to be proactive in addressing it.

Leslie said...

I heard a saying once that if you had eyes all over your body, the one place you couldn't see is the place where you're standing. Sometimes it takes standing in someone else's place or being uprooted from our own for us to realize our own blind spots. Adopting these little girls is moving me from the place where I stood so that I see things differently, and I am so grateful for that.