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Racism and Trauma

17 Apr

I saw Tim Wise speak at the University of Washington on April 9 and it was amazing. I’ve watched a ton of Tim Wise videos and read his book, “White Like Me,” but seeing him in person was a different experience.

There is something to be said about a person who doesn’t mess around when talking about racism. He doesn’t waver: racism exists, it destroys, and if we aren’t actively working to change it–we are participating in its continuation. Tim Wise doesn’t F around.

But it wasn’t just Wise that got me thinking after the lecture. It was one of my friends who went with me. She explained to Wise that as a Latina woman studying in higher education, she finds herself reliving trauma every time the subject of race comes up in the classroom.

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Why Don’t White People Talk About Race?

17 Jan

Why don’t white people talk about race?

I don’t really know, but I do know why I haven’t talked about race in my life, and I’ll make a gross assumption that I’m not alone.

Here are five reasons why I haven’t talked about race:

1. I don’t want to sound racist myself.

Talking about race and racism has a “Whoever smelt it dealt it,” type of feeling. If you mention race at all—you’re a racist. People say, defensively, “That’s racist!” And like most people, I would never want people to think I was that kind of person or had racist thoughts whatsoever. So there have been many times where I just didn’t bring it up at all.

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The Us vs. Them Mentality

6 Jan

I recently posted a link to White Mom Blog on my personal Facebook page. I’ve wanted to start this blog for a long time and felt ready to share it with my friends. But something interesting happened when I went to post it on Facebook–I didn’t want everyone to see it.

Or, I didn’t think everyone would want to see it.

So I made the link visible to a limited group of friends only. Yep, a limited group. I spent an hour trying to decide who on my friends list I should expose this part of myself to. It wasn’t easy, and I ended up sending the link to just the people I felt would be interested in what I had to say. More to the point, I sent it to the people who I felt wouldn’t be offended by the subject. Perhaps a few of them would comment or ‘like’ the post. Maybe it would even start a conversation.

I watched as page views trickled in, but something wasn’t right. I woke up this morning and realized something else about my limited Facebook posting.

I’m preaching to the choir.

Everyone I sent the link to has probably thought about white privilege in some capacity already. I have friends in the undoing racism, social justice, and equal rights circles of Seattle who think about race all the time.

I shared my blog post with them, but why didn’t I post it for everyone else to see?

Because talking about race with white people is difficult.

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Race and Band-Aids. Does it Matter?

2 Jan

I got hooked on mommy blogs in 2008 when I watched my niece and used my brother and sister-in-law’s computer. My sister-in-law had a few of these blogs bookmarked on her computer. I didn’t even know people blogged about being a mom.

I’ve read mommy blogs about parents who lost a child, families managing care for a child with a disability, and one where the parent is working through struggles of their own. Many moms are amazing photographers with beautiful pictures of their children doing crafts or going to the beach.

All of the blogs I have read are written by white women. White moms.

They are all in the top 100 mommy blogs of 2012, according to babble.com. I read somewhere that out of the top 100 less than five talk about race. They are all blogs written by Women of Color.

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I Want to Talk About Race

1 Jan

Where to begin? I’ve been thinking about this project for some time now. I’m hoping White Mom Blog can be a place for questioning, honest reflection, growth, or even just a place to build community.

I want to talk about race.

I want to really talk about race.

I want to talk about race in regards to white privilege.

I want to talk to white women about race.

I want us (white women/white moms) to think about how we contribute to and perpetuate white privilege in our families, communities, schools, work places and beyond. I want to know how we will talk about race with our white children.

I want to hear from Women of Color about their experiences. I want to really listen. I don’t want to shut down when I hear something that makes me feel bad or guilty.

I want my white daughter to grow up thinking about race.

I guess that’s my starting point. Thank you for joining me.

Bicultural Mom™

Raising niños in a mixed & matched world.

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