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Wed Jun 24, 2020, 09:35 PM

"My Wife Is Black. My Son Is Biracial. But White Supremacy Lives Inside Me"

I urge everyone to read this, especially those who feel that they "don't have a racist bone in their body" or believe that having a black friend or significant other immunizes them from harboring any racial bias:

My Wife Is Black. My Son Is Biracial. But White Supremacy Lives Inside Me
https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2020/06/22/protests-george-floyd-racism-haiti-children-calvin-hennick

To protect my son, and every other Black boy and girl in America, white people must change the way our own eyes see the world. We must do the work of stamping out white supremacy where it lives: in our systems, and in ourselves.
...
When I realized what was happening in my own brain, I shuddered. I wasnít what anyone would describe as a racist. I was engaged to a Black woman whom I would marry later that year, and who would become the mother of my two children. But white supremacy had infected me in ways Iíd never realized.

Iíve lived my entire life in a world filled with literal monuments to racism, a world where we regularly make unspoken justifications for living on land stolen from indigenous people, for honoring slave owners on our money, for tolerating enormous racial gaps in wealth and education and health outcomes. Even my awareness of Chiara Levinís murder is an example of white supremacy in action; if sheíd been Black, I doubt the news media would have latched onto her story. Journalists saw her white face, and the same thing that happened in my brain happened in theirs. Of all the murder victims in Boston, this is the one who matters, the white supremacist inside them whispered. This is the tragedy we will talk about for weeks, while the names of murdered Black men and women go unspoken.

I confess that thereís still a part of me that tries to look for ďreasonable explanationsĒ when I first hear of a Black person dying in police custody. A part of me looks to explain away the horrible things I donít want to confront. If Iím going to be a part of the solution, this is the piece of me I need to destroy.
...
Iím going to more actively look for ways to get involved, rather than hide in despair when the news makes me afraid for my childrenís futures. Iím going to take my cues from Black activists who know what actions will make a difference in their own lives. Perhaps most importantly, Iím going to recommit to listening to and amplifying Black voices ó and Iím going to try to sit and stay quiet during my own moments of discomfort, when their stories challenge the things I thought I knew.

Iím particularly interested to relearn American history from the perspective of the people who lived through it. The version I learned in school was so sanitized, so paternalistic: White people enslaved Black people, but then we saw that it was wrong, and we stopped. We forced Black people to live as second-class citizens in their own country for another century, but then we saw that it was wrong, and we stopped.

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply "My Wife Is Black. My Son Is Biracial. But White Supremacy Lives Inside Me" (Original post)
StarfishSaver Jun 24 OP
WhiskeyGrinder Jun 24 #1
ismnotwasm Jun 24 #2
malaise Jun 24 #3
Solly Mack Jun 24 #4
brer cat Jun 24 #5
liberalla Jun 24 #6
The Polack MSgt Jun 24 #7
Blue Owl Jun 24 #8
mountain grammy Jun 25 #9
hunter Jun 25 #10

Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 09:36 PM

1. Painfully honest and deeply important. K&R.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 09:39 PM

2. K&R

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 09:49 PM

3. Must read

Rec

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 10:09 PM

4. K&R

It's an all day, every day reckoning of why you believe what you believe about race and racism. (All forms of bigotry)

And listening. Lots of listening.

Not everyone grows up in the same America. Not everyone lives in the same America.








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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 11:08 PM

5. K&R

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 11:17 PM

6. K & R

Bookmarking.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 11:28 PM

7. Kick for visibility

And because I feel this article. Personally.

I believe I'm a good person...

And maybe I am but I'm also an old white American with all the habits of thought and unexamined assumptions that implies.

I have knees and sometimes they jerk.

Figuring out why is my job.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 11:45 PM

8. K&R

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Thu Jun 25, 2020, 09:05 AM

9. K&R

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Thu Jun 25, 2020, 10:32 AM

10. My grandfather called my wife a "Mexican girl."

Men in his family did not marry Mexican girls. He did not attend our wedding.

I'm sure he would have gone ballistic if my wife was black. (I like this metaphor. My grandfather was an aerospace engineer. I can imagine him turning red in the face, clenching his hands into fists, and blasting off through the roof like a cartoon character...)

My grandfather didn't consider himself a racist, and he didn't recognize his sexism. In his professional life he worked with people of many colors. He worked with women. He worked with gay people. He considered himself "colorblind" and "tolerant." As a former military officer he supported the integration of the armed services. But not in his family.

My wife and I have been married more than thirty years and I can still be caught out completely unaware of my white male privilege and the racist and sexist crap my wife has to deal with every day.

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