karnythia: (Default)
Thinking about parenting while black, & the coded language people use about black POC has me in my feelings a little bit today. There’s the shock/awe some folks express when they find out that I have two kids by two different fathers & I was married to both of them. The amazement at the way my kids eat (kid #1 is allergic to soy so we cook from scratch a lot, and we eat a lot of veggies & fruit because I believe in serving them the stuff that tastes good), and the 98767687568 compliments my husband gets for being a dad as though that’s not something black men do.

Not to mention how often the same hippie mothers who compliment me on my kids behavior will try to correct my “harshness” with my sons. All while lamenting the fact that their kids are hellions who don’t listen to them. I once broke one of their brains when I explained that my ex husband the deadbeat absentee dad is a white guy. Apparently it had never occurred to her (despite her 14554653 fights with her ex about money & visitation) that black single mothers could have the same relationship history as white single mothers. We live in the same mixed race mixed income neighborhood, have the same level of education, & our kids are in the same school.

I’ve had conversations with people who complain about the ESL kids being taught math, reading, science etc. in their native languages in a separate classroom. Why is that a problem? Well, that means their kids aren’t getting free access to conversational Spanish, Arabic, Urdu, Korean, etc. Never mind the fact that this approach helps the ESL kids stay on track academically, their education isn’t as important as Johnny & Suzie’s enrichment. Which tells you a lot about why they’re interested in diversity. Hell, I even had a “This school has too many black people & not enough white people” conversation one day with someone.

And these are things said by people who claim to not be racist. We’re not talking people who hate black folks. We’re talking people who will expound at length on their commitment to diversity & their desire to see equality. And yes, I know someone will say I’m being oversensitive, but when you’re on your 5th “You were married?!” there’s only so many ways to take that tone of voice & that look on someone’s face. When you have to go to the wall with the daycare director over her deciding that you don’t know shit about your child’s food allergies despite managing them with his pediatrician his whole life, but she knows best because she talked to a friend of a friend about your child’s health what else could it be?

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karnythia

May 2015

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