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The following Featured Post comes from Relationship Group 2, Thread 10.

1. "But what about the children?"
Tue, Sep 14, 1999 - 7:53 PM/EST
bmr

This was the question posed to me by my parents when they discovered the man I was dating and eventually wanted to marry was not white. My husband is actually biracial (half white, half black), and we do not have children yet.

I thought it was so strange that my parents would be so concerned with the issue of our children making it through life when all they had to do was look at my husband and see how he turned out just fine. He is a wonderfully adjusted, caring, thoughtful, extremely intelligent, and decent human being. He is completely comfortable in his own skin, and he gives off a real sense of confidence in who he is that people respond to. People respect and interact with him only as an individual, and I have seen this demonstrated over and over again for the 6 years that I have known him. I really hope that we can pass that legacy on to our own children, who hopefully will also build an identity based on our love. I would welcome any responses, and also any advice anyone would have for me in raising interracial children.

2. Sounds familiar
Tue, Sep 14, 1999 - 8:39 PM/EST
joyw

That was the first thing my mother asked, too. I think that being a parent is tough no matter what, but the issue of race complicates things. As a parent, I want to spare my children any pain that I can. When I decided to marry my husband, I decided that I wouldn't let other people's opinions rule my life. But then I had a child, and he didn't make the decision to brave the general disapproval of society--I thrust that on him. I struggle constantly with how to protect him and yet equip him with the tools he needs to cope.

On the upside, he's a lot more resiliant than his father or I. Whereas we dwell on slights (real or perceived) he wallows for a short time and then moves on. In that sense, he's a good role model for us, I guess.

Joy

3. The Best
Tue, Sep 14, 1999 - 9:37 PM/EST
dip

I probably first considered this dilemma while in college, prior to dating anyone of a different race. In thinking about how it would be to be biracial (black/white), I figured that it would be the best of both worlds. A biracial persons history would encompass virtually everything that has occured in this country.

As the father of biracial children (sges 6 & 4), they do have they best of everything. They don't have to believe steretypes because they see them disspelled on a daily basis. They won't believe that black men are lazy (except pro athletes)for they will have seen their father, grandfather, uuncles, and cousins work hard at school, profession, and family. They won't believe that most whites dislike blacks, for they know that their Uncle David gives them a dollar everytime he sees them and that they and I are as welcome in my wife's family as everyone else. They will not be restricted by skin color or race b/c they're biracial. Phrases like " white boys don't play basketball or black girls don't enter beauty pageants" won't be of any consequence to my children. Those types of things should never enter into the mind of a child regardless of race, but in reality, they do.

We don't label our children by race, they are human. At some point later, (pretty soon for our daughter),we plan to explain to her that come people may treat her differently b/c of her skin color. That they may assume that she is black. We'll also inform her of the positive & negative stereotypes that may accompany that label. We plan on encouraging her to remember and acknowledge all of her heritage and be proud.

4. The Children
Tue, Sep 14, 1999 - 11:19 PM/EST
shel

Speaking from experience with three bi/racial children ages 10,7,2.5, the older girls don't seem to care about skin color. My girls attendan all white school were they are the only black children. Believe it or not my oldest daughter has more problems in school with friends because of the restriction we place on her and her christian life style. My middle daughter heck people know her we don't even know. We could be at the store and someone will walk up to me andsay hey are you Alyx's mom. That just the kind ofpersonality they have.

Michele

5. All children need...
Wed, Sep 15, 1999 - 1:02 AM/EST
dman

It's stability, caring parents, and nurturing. I have worked with children for the last 10 years. If their parents are loving and attentive they turn out just fine. You can't protect them from all the hurts they are likely to encounter as they grow up. By raising them in a nurturing environment, you provide them with the sense of security they will need to work through adversity. It doesn't matter what color their parents are. All children have the same needs. It's our job to see that they're met.

6. "But what about the bigots?"
Wed, Sep 15, 1999 - 8:51 PM/EST
jeanne

Let me first say that I have absolutely no personal experience in this area - I'm not a child of an interracial relationship, nor do I have interracial children - so, Iím ready to be educated! :-)

My experience has been that whenever people are opposed to interracial relationships, they pull out the "trump card." With great concern, they say, "Oh, but what about the children? They will be the ones to suffer." But, when you take the children out of the equation, those same people STILL object, which makes me think their concern is completely bogus. It's a last-ditch effort to keep interracial relationships taboo.

Even if a person really IS solely concerned about the adverse effects on children of interracial relationships, I still don't understand the logic of that argument. I mean, when I hear someone say, "The children will suffer," I figure their suffering will come at the hands of bigoted people. I think it's much more likely that these children will suffer because of people opposed to interracial relationships than people who aren't consumed with race.

I don't believe there is anything inherent in an interracial child that makes him/her suffer. It is the society around him/her that causes the suffering. So it seems pretty flawed to say the solution is to prevent interracial relationships (which produce children). It makes more sense to say the solution is to educate society. Eliminate the perpetrator of bigotry, not the victim!

Am I completely naive about this or what? As I said, I don't have interracial children and I'm not biracial myself, so I don't feel completely comfortable taking my stand. But, I do know that it irritates me to no end when people use children as a vehicle to promote less noble interests, like bigotry.

7. Jeanne's response
Wed, Sep 15, 1999 - 10:46 PM/EST
dman

For a novice, you're pretty sharp. Well said, lady!

Read more featured posts here or continue reading thread 10 from Relationship Group 2.





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