I Have A Prejudiced Mother

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I remember vividly her words as she expressed her reason for not wanting me to date outside of my race – she was concerned for herself and how much of an embarrassment I would be to the rest of the family. That was literally that only reason she could come up with. Now, let’s take into consideration that I come from a white/Italian, Catholic family; I began to think that I was really doing something wrong. Being that this was back in 1987 and it was just starting to become a little more acceptable, I thought am I living my life for my mother or am I living it for myself? Is it really true that I can disgrace my entire family? Would they really care about my personal life that much? Would they really disown me? Well, they did. I did not want to have to make a decision between the boy and that family that I loved so much. They made the decision for me and I was kicked out of my home right after I graduated from high school, with no place to live. I was devastated and scared.
My views, however, weren’t tainted by the raw ignorance of my mother and the rest of the family that came before me. Some of my favorite teachers and best of friends had been African-American, my favorite music was performed by people of color, and now, the man whose soul so clearly matched mine…had skin that did not. I was young, in love, and I believed that the world should be colorblind. I’m, ahem, just a little older now, I am still very much in love, but my theories on color blindness have changed.
Color blindness implies that one doesn’t even notice the differences in the people around them. That is just not humanly possible. In my own household I see a beautiful brown, my own creamy complexion, and the smooth caramel that both of our children are wrapped in. In my world, I see varying combinations of these, every one as beautiful as the other, and every shade to be celebrated and embraced – not unnoticed.
I want our children to be proud of who we are, who they are, and to also appreciate the diversity they will witness, as well as create, during the course of their lives. It won’t always be easy for them…but it certainly is not the devastation their grandma feared it would be. How could it be? Their mother and father may have different amounts of melanin, but their love for their children is equal. We will help them navigate for a time, and then we will teach them to be their own captains.
Don’t be fooled: there is still plenty of hate floating around, and we will cross parental bridges that go way beyond the average. There will be those who don’t like them solely because of the color(s) of their skin…and those who like them only because of it. There will be assumptions made about the dynamics of our household simply because of our multiracial make-up…and then there will be two, phenomenal, successful, enlightened, intelligent, articulate, compassionate ambassadors who will go forth into the world, appreciating the uniqueness of all of humanity…and the world will be better because of them.
And don’t worry, Mother – your grandchildren love themselves (maybe a little too much!), they are very popular, extremely well-liked, and they certainly know how much you “adore” them! It’s such a shame that you have never laid eyes on these beautiful children, who are now 20 and 14. But, don’t worry they are being loved and cherished by so many other individuals. And, after 28 years, I am still with that amazing boy that I loved so much.

2 thoughts on “I Have A Prejudiced Mother

  1. Right now, you’re sitting on the couch, tapping away at your laptop (likely “Pinterest-ing yourself”) and looking damn good in those blue and white striped pajama pants I told you I liked the other day. Hubba-Hubba! Anyway, I was just sitting her watching you and I thought to myself, “She looks more beautiful than ever before, even after 28 years.” I was thinking about all we’ve gone through to get to this day. Then suddenly, out of the blue, I got the urge to check in on your blog… and the first thing I see is this article.

    You know I’ve always told you (since we were kids) that you are the most intelligent woman I’ve ever known. But as well as I know you… and as smart as I know you are, I honestly never knew you could express your thoughts, in writing, in such a poignant and thought-provoking way. Sweetheart, this is, without question, one of THE MOST startlingly impressive and profound writings I’ve ever read in my entire life! I know how much courage it took for you to face these painful revelations and turn them into a positive message and, finally, share them with the world. You should be applauded for being so courageous. Most people will never find the strength to stand in defiance and confront the pain and heartache of negative “family baggage” such as this.

    I’ve read this article 3 times now and it simply blows me away every time I read it! I knew you were talented, but I never knew you were “this” talented. It’s crazy; I’ve known you for nearly 3 decades and you’re STILL managing to surprise me and keep me guessing, after all this time! Simply amazing. I mean, truly amazing, sweetheart. I’m so very proud of you!

    Oh, and thank you so much for falling in love with that boy 28 years ago, because he sure as hell loved you (and still does) like crazy! You are the absolute love of my life and my love for you is stronger today than it’s ever been! I love you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. you have ALWAYS inspired me. in me & my brother, you have cultivated a kindness that sees no boundaries, has no second thoughts & expects nothing in return.
    you are beauty, grace & perfection…because you taught yourself how to love.
    I applaud your courage & your mommy-ness. I look forward to our next snuggle on the couch after you get home from work! you go, mommy! I LOVE YOU!

    Like

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