Thursday, July 3, 2008

Obama's in my affinity group.

Our courageous conversations today around race have empowered me, but I want to do more. Right now, I need to work on myself a little more in defining my identity and how that plays out with, especially, the way I raise my children. I want it to be acknowledged that people like me are not either/or. I want biraciality/mixed-raciality to be acknowledged.

My program has (thankfully) created a mixed race affinity group- there are only 3 of us, but at least we are a group. We talked about so many issues around not fitting in with either race, choosing one over the other, our experiences around growing up "not either/or", being asked "What are you?"

We talked about Barack Obama and how he has made a difference in our lives by acknowledging his biraciality through honoring both his African-American and White sides. He is not either/or. We take great pride in the fact that he'd be in our affinity group.

So, how has White privilege, or lack thereof, affected you? If you are White and reading this, you may still not realize that you have special privileges. Think about that. It could be little things like when you go into the drugstore, you can find make-up in your shade of skin tone. Or maybe if you get pulled over, you are sure that it's not because of your race. Just think about it.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This is one of those things that's interesting and important to me because of my kids. Since I grew up identifying as white (which is one of those exciting constructs anyway - with my Jewish/Irish background, my whiteness is a fairly recent attribute) I didn't have to think much about race until I married a guy who's a different color than I am. I became acutely aware of privilege, lack thereof, race, and racism through him, and later through my kids.

One of the big moments for me was finding some bi-racial dolls online and having my kids freak the heck out because, "It looks like me!" I hadn't realized they'd noticed their difference until that moment.