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The following Featured Post comes from Relationship Group 2, Thread 4.

1. Discussing Race issues
Mon, Sep 13, 1999 - 9:28 PM/EST
hibou

Iím excited about this group so letís get right to it.

I know that not everyone in the group is involved in a bi-racial relationship, (I think I like bi-racial better than inter-racial. Somehow inter-racial makes it sound like Iím having a relationship with a salamander or some other non-human species) but for those of you who are; how much time do you spend talking about issues involving race? If youíve read my introduction you know that my wife and I live in a small town where there are very few black people and no other biracial couples that I know of. We do not spend much time talking about issues of race unless something like this PBS special comes along.

Sometimes I think we should talk about it more, especially since we have children in school who may soon encounter the prejudice of others. My children are ages 8, 7, and 6 and only the 8-year-old has ever even indicated that she sees that mommy and daddy look different. What have the rest of you experienced in this area? Do you and you partners talk much about race issues?

2. Add my thoughts
Mon, Sep 13, 1999 - 10:06 PM/EST
jay

The racial angle doesn't enter into my relationship right now, but my uncle was the child of a bi-racial family. He grew up along with my parents and I never heard a word of any problems when he and my aunt decided to marry. My two cousins(their children)did have trouble when they went into school and have had to deal with prejudice in both their professional and persoal lives. Watching them,I believe that the childeren of bi-racial families should be told from an early age that some people will give them trouble for no better reason than they look different from others.

Then their parents can give them the support and love it takes to overcome those problems and become strong and successful human beings. Both of my cousins have good,rich lives and are raising families of their own,and teaching their kids about being proud of their heritage.

3. Discussing race
Mon, Sep 13, 1999 - 10:57 PM/EST
joyw

My husband and I rarely discuss race issues directly. I find it really hard to start the discussion with him. I hoped (and am still hoping) that this series will help our discussions. We have very different ways of coping with the problems we encounter (racial or otherwise) and his way of coping doesn't involve a lot of talking about it. I'd rather talk more, but I'm not sure how to bring the topic up.

My son has occasionally noted differences in people's skin (he has grandparents who are "pink like Mom" and "brown like Dad") but I don't think he comprehends the concept of race as a divider of people. I struggle to balance preparing him for the realities of life (that race is an issue for most people) and not making him defensive about his racial "status".

Joy

4. Talking to one partner on RACE
Tue, Sep 14, 1999 - /EST
shel

Hello everyone I find that my husband and I talk about race if its black or white. We feel that its important to talk about these relationships. because were live in a very small town were there are no other black Americans for I say about 25 miles. And we as responable parents need to discuss the issues in the fore front about race and not try to hide it.

6. Discussing race
Tue, Sep 14, 1999 - /EST
shel

this message is for joy. maybe this book mighthelp you with your little boy. I got it for mygirls its called Black is Brown is Tan. It's aboutan inter-racial couple and there two little boys. it might help.
michele

7. Race Issue
Tue, Sep 14, 1999 - 12:47 PM/EST
kail

I'm married to a black man for 6 years now. We have a 2.5 year old son who doesn't speak much yet, but we have noticed, that if he see a picture of white, blond women, he says "Mommy" and if he sees a black man he says "Daddy". So I guess in this early age children do recognize the differences.

We talk about racial issue only when it comes up on TV or everyday life brings it to our attention. As far as we are concerned, there's is NO issue, but we find ourselfs to be consious about people around us. I guess our eyes are always open...

8. Black is brown is tan is white
Tue, Sep 14, 1999 - 4:33 PM/EST
joyw

To Michelle,
Thanks--my brother-in-law gave the book to my son when he was born, and he chooses to have it read to him every once in a while. It is a great book for kids. (As an aside, I started a discussion on the Soap Box for people to list any books for kids or otherwise, so if you've got more, please add). My son has only had a couple of instances where other kids have made an issue of his race (and fortunately none when adults have made a big deal about it) and I struggle to mend the hurt feelings without making the race issue even bigger in his mind.

The flip side of my efforts to play down race is my efforts to make sure my son is exposed to the black community as well as the predominantly white community in which we live. It was a small victory for me when he was invited to join in a play group (of sorts) in which all the other kids were black. I worry that if he doesn't have these relationships, he will want to distance himself from that part of his heritage.

Joy

10. Your Son
Tue, Sep 14, 1999 - 6:08 PM/EST
shel

Joy
I really think you are on the right track. In the far future only your son will make the difference as to what he does with his life. We as parents are always afraid of what's out there for our children. It really doesn't matter if there black, White, hispanic,oriental if someone does like them there nothing we can do about it. Someone will also find something about someone else they don't like.
I guess what I am trying to say is that you can't please all of the people all of the time.

Read more featured posts here or continue reading thread 4 from Relationship Group 2.





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