Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day 20: Does Race Matter?

This past year, in our homeschool, we read a book about the post Civil War years in the South. The book kept referring to the former slaves as Black Americans.

Suddenly, Wenxin interrupted. "Mama. . . am I black?"

Then without really waiting for me to respond, he answered himself. Closely observing his own arm he concluded, "Ummm. . . not really black. I think I'm dark tan."

We had a quick little conversation about the labels people attach to race. I shared that when people say black, they are usually referring to people whose ancestors came from Africa. I told him that when people look at him they probably call him Asian, because people born in China, Thailand, Japan, Korea and the Philippines -- all countries in Asia -- have similar skin and hair color.

When you love someone intensely -- the way a mother loves her children -- things like race and skin color seem to disappear.

But they don't really disappear, do they?

I've been thinking about this a lot this week as I've watched our nation respond to the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin.

From what I read online, it seems that public reaction to the verdict is somewhat divided along racial lines. The one notable exception is white mothers who've adopted children of color. This case raises all kinds of questions about white privilege and what that means for transracial adoptees.

Please take a moment today and read this insightful post called Two Worlds, by Becky at More Injera Please!  

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