The following Featured Post comes from a test Dialogue Group.
1. how it feels to be biracial
Thu, Aug 19, 1999 - 8:21 PM/EST
i am the caucasion mother of a biracial daughter who i just found after 32 Yrs!!! i am wondering how it felt for my daughter growing up etc. she seems to adhere to the afroamer side of culture. i am just wondering is there anything i can do say to make her way easier?
it seems to me that most biracial(white and black) people adhere to the black side. is that because blacks are more accepting or what? my daughter was adopted by afroamer couple 32 yrs ago.
2. Words are only labels
Thu, Aug 19, 1999 - 10:23 PM/EST
Sad to say, words are only labels. African American simply means that some of your ancestors came from Africa and settled in the Americas. It does not necessarily describe the colour of your skin.
Have you read the story of Nessi's Braids under the topic of "Children and Healing" on the STORY page.
Your daughter identifies with her African American (afroamer) family because because she knows her skin colour and perhaps her features and hair will place her firmly in that social grouping.
It is naive to suggest that you are not well aware of this even though your heart may be unwilling to accept this. With love we must get beyond racism of society and build new ways of blending our expectations for our offspring.
Wishing that she could accept herself as part of the "white" world forces her into an either or situation, one or the other....and what we dream of for our children is that we can build ways between those extremes.
And finally, we could be talking about other things than skin colour. Suppose your child was born into a family of musically gifted and she was totally deaf. Or suppose she was autistic. I think that the hopeful dreams of any parent in such situations would be similar. How can I blend or bridge the differences for my child to build ways between extremes of "have" and "have not".
Incidentally, did you ever read the autobiography of Peter Ustinov? He claims eight (I think that is how many) seperate ancestories including Chinese, African, Jewish, European, Middle Eastern, Greek.....anyway its facinating and complicated.
4. The Pain Of A Racial Society
Fri, Aug 20, 1999 - 5:38 AM/EST
I'm afraid my perspective is a bit different. I believe the mother of the child is more closer to the truth as she notices the child gravitate toward it's black heritage side because historically blacks have been more accepting of others not only people in their race but also people outside of their race, however by saying this we are saying the child at least feels as if they are being rejected more so by their Caucasian heritage side.
America has never ever really effectively addressed racism in America. For over 300 years Americans have walked around this elephant called racism and the ugly truth of the matter is little progress can be made if we are not even willing to recognize we have a problem! If we go about our lives pretending it is business as usual we will once again be a country divided when the next OJ Simpson trial comes around, or the next Rodney King beating, or the woman who drowned her two kids and falsely accused a black person. Racism is not dead in America nor has it ever been.
Perhaps the best advice that I can give is the mother needs to work at bonding with her child-which is not to say that she hasn't done so already it's just that the child is going through something most people aren't likely to experience in their lifetime and so the child no doubt feels they are all alone! The mother may or may not change the direction her child is heading, but I believe by her efforts she will have created a permanent bridge between herself and her child.
It is correct African American, or black is not just skin color, rather it is a lifestyle, because you can be born African American raised in a predominantly white, or any other ethnic culture and have no idea what it means to be African American.
5. Here is where we agree:
Fri, Aug 20, 1999 - 2:46 PM/EST
Perhaps you may be mixing up what I wrote with someone elses comments since we seem to be on the same wavelength...
Racism is alive and an elephant in our society, to ignore it or avoid it is unrealistic.
The mother needs to form a loving and accepting bond with her "child".
African American is a culture and not necessarily a racial designation.
Here is where we disagree:
The "child' referred to is a grown woman, thirty years old and an alcoholic. So, the relationship of a mother to a newly found "child" in this situation may require some totally new insights and responses! I wish them all well.
I am not certain that the African American culture is more accepting of biracial children than other cultures, tho I would like to think this is so.
Our society is also seriously prejudiced against the deaf and the blind and mentally disabled. (The deaf have their own distinct culture and their own prejudices against the hearing.) You did not mention this important point.
Intollerance is the PITS!
6. Prejudice In America
Fri, Aug 20, 1999 - 3:31 PM/EST
It does sound like we are moving in the same direction regarding much of our prospective to racial culture. Your point about talking about the blind and hearing impaired didn't seemed to be the issue we're focusing on in this forum. I believe when it comes to acceptance one only has to look at the African-American culture and see there is a lot more mixing there based on it's population size compared to the White race to see Blacks in this country have been more accepting of others. There are Blacks in the African-American culture who would also like to keep Blacks with Blacks and Whites with Whites, but there is no organization like the KKK designed to place fear into the hearts of White Americans in order to accomplish this.
Sadly America tolerate racism very well by standing up for racist voices by saying, "it is their constitutional right to say things I don't agree with."
Fri, Aug 20, 1999 - 8:36 PM/EST
I don't think that African Americans are more accepting of others. Nor is there necessarily more mixing in their community, at least not with whites. The percentage of mixed marriages which are white/black is the smallest fraction of mixed marriages.
In terms of acceptance, I am mixed and brown in skin color and have never been embraced by black people in the US. By black males I am usually seen as an object, and by most black women my age I am viewed with contempt or suspicion. So while skin color certainly classifies me as black, not much else about me does, and maybe it is this that limits my acceptance in that community.
In terms of making contact with her daughter, I think the best thing to do is treat her as an individual in need of help and be willing to accept her and help her however much she needs it. Color doesn't come into it. Whatever group she identifies with, if her new-found mother proves herself to be trustworthy and genuinely interested in being part of her life, she should come around. But if she isn't interested in forging bonds, don't push her.
8. Race Relationships
Fri, Aug 20, 1999 - 9:27 PM/EST
The last part of your message I believe Lynn and I have pressed that same prospective. Until someone brings in the figures it's been several years ago but that was the data presented on 60 minutes or 20/20 that racial mixing was more pronouced in African American culture then the others. You may well be correct in blacks not accepting you for whatever reason, I never say the Black race was totally accepting in fact I stated there are those who would rather there were no race mixing. Unfortunately you are wrong about color...color is the one thing in this country has mattered to a lot of sink people for hundreds of years, because unlike any other trait color can make someone an easy target. Cat burglars generally wear black and night, soldiers were green camoflag in the jungle because the color helps them blend in. Color should not be a factor but in real live we focus in on color.
9. Why the blind and the deaf?
Sat, Aug 21, 1999 - 1:50 AM/EST
Because I thought we were talking about negotiating differences in relationships and therefore certainly need to consider factors other than race. How about age? Nationality? Education? Health?
I was partnered with an Englishman for about nine years. He really really wanted to get married. He worked abroad tho I met his family and they were very dear people. English accents are sooooo sexy. However, I just could not do it because I kept hearing in my head, "He's a foreigner". He gave up and married an English nurse.
Even though I had spent most of my life living in other countries I could not marry a non-American.
Here is why: He would tease me that when his people were sailing across the ocean and discovering North America my people met his on the beach naked and beating tom-toms.
He could not get it into his head that his people and my people were the same common ancestors and the Indians got there first!
He smoked, he died of cancer.
You say you never dated a white woman...have you ever been in relationship with a foreigner?
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