About seeing color:

As a mother to a biracial babe, and a partner to a African American man, I want to put a few words on race out there for you all.
"I don't see color" is a phrase I've heard a lot since entering this relationship. I've heard it from friends and family, strangers, new acquaintances. It's a phrase that, despite what you'd think, does not make anyone think you really don't "see color." It says not "I think were all equal" but rather "I prefer not to comment on the fact that we are all different" or "I'm not sure what I think about race but I sure am uncomfortable talking about it."
Racial issues are still prevalent in our society. But it's more than a culmination if historical prejudices, it's that individuals often shy away from diversity. One of the reasons I love living in the city is for the blend of people. On any day, I see as many brown people as I see black people as I see white people. I meet Indians and Caucasians and Europeans and Africans and African Americans. And this is important to me because it allows me to see people who don't just look
alike, or like me, but with whom I have interesting and challenging conversations nonetheless.
It challenges the perception of sameness- because we are all living in the same community, enjoying the same resources, but we don't all look like one another. For the record, in case I haven't already made this clear? I think people are beautiful. Colored people, pale people, pink people. All of us.
I grew up in a predominantly white community in rural Appalachia. I never thought about race because it always seemed like everyone was like me: we were pretty much all "white."
I also never thought that being "white" made me better/ smarter/ more priveleged- but guess what? It does make me more priveleged.
Being "white" in America is like being normal in a room full of people who may or may not be "normal" too, but with whom you do not identify.
Being the standard by which others are measured. It's something we often take for granted: our neighbors will look "like us," that cartoons and books will depict people "like us," that we can find plenty of toys and story books and movies that have characters resembling ourselves or our children, that when we place a phone call to our phone service provider/ Internet/ paper/ local radio station- no one will make assumptions about us regarding the sound of our voice and our income/ lifestyle/ racial heritage. That when we walk into a grocery store at 11:00 at night to buy diapers- the cashier won't stare at us thinking we're there to rob them. These are all elements of our culture and they're a given for many many people. Saying "I don't see color" is like saying "I don't even think what you're (you're=others) going though, is real" or "I want to believe that everyone is like me." It ignores the history of racism, it is a process of ignoring the history of slavery, and it is, in my opinion, a 'white privelege' comment.
I want you to challenge yourself to see color. See race. See people's differences, see their character, see their names, their scars. Hear their voices, their stories.
Don't turn your head because someone has a different skin color and you feel uncomfortable sitting next to them on the park bench. Don't make blanket assumptions regarding their story. They may be African, Haitian, Mexican, Spanish, Dutch, Sweedish. But they're still an individual, skin color shouldn't be the only thing you see.
By allowing others to say these things or saying them yourself, ("blacks are ignorant, thrives, have poor work ethic, are disinterested in education," etc) we are hindering the progress that so many people are fighting for every day.it is hateful, and perpetuates the cycle of racism. We are still a far cry from having equal rights for all Americans, and all I'm asking from you is to push yourself that little step farther: ask yourself where your assumption formed. What is the basis of your reasoning? Why did you think what you just thought? Why is it okay to assume that our President is not an American? Or for Chris Matthews to say on live TV that he " forgot [Obama] was black for a minute" (an incredibly racist comment indicating that Obama's
speech was so good he could almost pass as a white man)?, Or to make fun of his middle name? Ask your children, your friends, your family when you hear them say these things. Ask yourself.
Most of the time, you'll be surprised that people don't know why they thought anyone would
feel 'better' (as if "they" were the one who was uncomfortable with their own skin color) hearing those words:
"I don't see color" or other comments of authority. In reality, it's the same as saying "I'ts okay, we can pretend you're just like me!"
One more thing, about my sentiments: that person you're talking about? That's my life partner. My daughter. My family.

- mamma pie

Feel free to comment but please be respectful and leave the hate-based/ fear-based comments for someone else.


Baby pace

I was Holding my daughter today when she started counting. "One,two,free,foooour,fife!" she said. It was the determination and tone of voice she used that made me realize what she had just done. Around here, milestones are coming so fast I would be untruthful if I said I noticed them all. She's growing quickly, but at her own pace. And holding her, I noticed that she has her father's smile. She shares her energy and determination with him as well.
Nights ago, I watched them as they slumbered heavily. Snow fell on our roof for the first time this winter, and the deep silence that snowfall brings kept me awake. I've grown used to hearing the faint drifting sound of the city in my ears like a wanderers lullaby, some neighbors out starting their car on an odd hour, coupled with the sound of horns from a mile away are now dually expected tunes to my ears. I don't miss the country when it's cold, it might be that winter months make city life worthwhile, with bookshops and indoor gardens to explore, thrift stores with longer hours and the mall, always full of a mad crowd.
But as I watched them both tucked neatly around one another, a pappas chin above his daughter's curls and crown, I noticed her length. A foot protruded some long mile from her dimpled cheek, startling my justifications and constant sense of presence as a mother. I am intent on nurturing her babyhood as long as it will last, but I see now that I should place quick reserations for my sanity somewhere that they might not be lost, leave it waiting checked in at the door so when my mind, baffled and stunned at the difference between that new born daughter just wrung into the world hours ago, and the affectionate statue glancing sidelong in my direction with a quick grasp at piloting her own days and clear preferences at each turn, might be preserved.

- mamma pie