Waking up to the blatant, unadulterated racism that showed up on my Facebook news feed this morning was definitely less than pleasant. Now, I'm not sure whether to delete these people or to add them to a special list so that I have an easy reference of the people that I need to keep far, far away from my children. I did immediately choose to unfriend the most objectionable. However, the more subtle, I'm still on the fence about. I tend to think that hatred grows best in isolation. So, perhaps, exposure to my ideas & my rainbow family will help their ignorance, even in some minute way. If not, they'll just delete me eventually. Many have traveled that road before them.
In real life, I don't actually refer to my family as a "rainbow family". I honestly don't think much about the multi-racial makeup that we live in. When I look at my children, I see only my children. However, the reality is I have a multi-racial family, with a daughter that openly talks about
the fact that her mother is in jail & boys with extremely long hair (which, for some reason, is a big deal to people). So, when out in public I often get the joy of fielding a lot of curious
question. Unfortunately, there's also a lot of ignorance to wade
through. In fact the well never seems to dry up, at times.
Granted, I live in the Bible Belt, where homogeneity is encouraged; nay, expected. However, is wears on me at times.
In the last several weeks, I have been called a racist. What did I do to warrant this label? Did I use a racial epithet? Did I make a broad generalization about an ethnic group? No, I simply labeled myself as Choctaw. Apparently, according to this person, simply embracing my tribe and its cultural heritage, I am demonstrating that I am biased against other races. Interesting theory... Ironically, this entire tirade began because I gave my opinion about the use of racial stereotyping in Halloween costumes.
One thing that polarizing events, such as this election or holidays, does is remind me how much ignorance there is in this world. While I'd like to hide & pretend it's not there, I can't. As a parent, I have a responsibility to prepare my children for dealing with this sort of ignorance and hatred, while simultaneously attempting to shield them from as much of it as humanly possible, at least until they are older & better equipped to deal with it.