Back in December, I wrote an article about things you shouldn’t say to a black person when you first meet. I promised I would expound on them a bit more in future articles. So, here we go for one of them today. Let’s talk about #8. My Kids Have NEVER seen a black person before.
People probably think I make these things up, but folks, situations fall in my lap daily to share and educate others (I guess that’s one reason I decided to start a blog or maybe I just like to talk. lol). Some are comical, some are hurtful, and some leave me baffled.
Several folks have commended me for sticking with people on their lack of seeing past their bubble. Why do I stick with these folks? Because I feel people learn from exposure. Hang out with me or better yet anyone outside of your race for a bit and I promise you will get a glimpse. You gotta pay attention though.
I’m blessed with the opportunity of meeting new people regularly. Being a military family keeps us moving and meeting people from around the world and all walks of life. I’m also a chatterbox. I welcome conversations pretty much anytime and will strike one up standing in line almost any time. Yes, it drives my family insane.
We traveled to Kauai, Hawaii, for Spring Break (It was such a long flight. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Just kidding. Up and down from Oahu to Kauai). DadJonz, Equestrian Girl Forever, and Fashion Diva Girl went to the Clubhouse of our resort to grab some coffee. They came back, and DadJonz told me I missed the opportunity of a lifetime. Well, I thought he was going to tell me the crew of Hawaii 5-0 was in the Clubhouse (I want a guest appearance on this show).
Instead, he said a lady (not a local) walked up to him and said, “It’s good to see an African American!” Now, this could’ve gone several different ways. My husband and kids smiled and laughed. I’m sure she meant nothing by it, but many thoughts entered our minds. Was she implying she’s never seen a black person in real life? Maybe she doesn’t think black people travel? Perhaps it was a shock to see a black family (dad and kids. Will talk about this misconception soon)? I mean, there are so many things she could’ve meant.
Now some of you may be reading this and thinking she didn’t mean anything by it. But, I’m sure she didn’t walk up to a white family and say, “It’s good to see a White American!” And yes, I know I’m referring to skin color here cause you have many ethnicities within a skin tone. Just the same as mine. We very well may be a Black British family. Hey, the naked eye can be very deceiving.
As we continued our vacation a few days later, we were out for lunch. The girls and I were sitting enjoying our food when another family sat nearby. The two kids stared. Like, they took a whole photo shoot just staring at us. They were Americans but overhearing the conversation (I have sonar ears), they were shocked to see black people (we’ve lived and traveled abroad and boy oh boy, we were rock stars for sure. I get other countries being amazed) I SEE BLACK PEOPLE.
Now, it’s 2018. What do you mean your children have NEVER seen, interacted nor touched anyone outside of their race? Folks, this is SAD. I do think most Americans have seen black people, but maybe no real interaction. Maybe in your school or community, everyone looks like you.
If this is your life, I challenge you to walk out of your bubble. Don’t step. I want you to walk completely out of “YOUR” world. And this goes for ALL races. When you are out, speak to someone that doesn’t look like you. Take your kids to the playground where there’s a diverse group of kids playing and ALLOW them to play with ALL the kids. You should chat with the other adults as well. And don’t point out the obvious. Just say hello and have a normal conversation. Oh, you may need to travel a few miles to make this happen. It’s ok; you will be alright.
I hear so many people say they aren’t comfortable with being the minority, aka being around people that don’t have the same skin color as them. My question to you is, why? What are you afraid of? And yes, I ask a lot of people this question. Does it mean I think you’re racist? No. What it means is you’ve said something that makes me want to understand your view, your experiences more. But for those that make me tilt my head…..I mean, you quickly point out you aren’t racist cause you told me about your friends of other races when we first met. So, I’m really confused by why you aren’t comfortable. Just saying.
Now for my disclaimer…we raise our children to LOVE everyone. Yes, we see skin color, and I have no problem saying that we do. But your skin color doesn’t matter to us. Everyone is open to receive my crazy facial expressions and hours of laughter or roasting.
My goal is to bring awareness. As a black woman raising black children, we’ve encountered way more racial undertones than we should. Racism still exists, and ignorance is very much happening every day. You may not be racist, but you may be “ignorant” to the world around you. Open your mind and stop telling people what they no longer experience or how they should feel. Learn to LISTEN and stop hearing. You may be surprised of your contribution to the problem. And yo, this goes for EVERYONE! All races need to listen to one another and cross the boundaries to close the gap.
I don’t and won’t apologize for speaking my truth, my story, my life. No one wants to admit a problem, but we can’t continue to ignore what happens. And this lady right here is accepting the challenge of sharing her experiences. No matter how small or nonexistent one may view them. As I ask people, “do you want to trade lives for a year?” Hmmm….. yep, you got reeeaaaaaal quiet. Enough said right there!
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