Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On racial equality

So: I am the European American mom of two Asian American children. As I stroll with them through our lives I am more conscious of inter-racial practices than I used to be.

Tell me this: have you ever told a story and if the person was a different race than you are: you mentioned it, but otherwise you didn't? Have you ever told North American History as if it started with European travels?

Here is something I would like to hear often: white people called European American as often as black people are called African American. And Asian Americans too. And European Africans, and European Australians. And on. For example: "The first president of the U.S. was a European American."

Kinda changes one's perceptions, eh?

Because I have noticed that in telling my children North American history, when I say "the Americans did thus and so", and then "the African's did..." or the "Native Americans did..." I am differentiating everybody but me. I am making everybody different but me. But we European Americans are about as different and the same as people of African American heritage, and have been hanging out on this continent a fraction of the time that Asian Americans have, to say nothing of the folk who lived here before them.

The point is that we are making uncomfortable assumptions if we qualify everyone but ourselves.

My children's racial ancestors didn't come from "away" any more than mine did.

And here is another question: If having a father who is African American makes one black, then how come having a European American mother doesn't make one white??

Just wondering.
I love quotes. I like to put them on my ATCs. My stufio has, over the years been lined with them. As a little Gregorian New Year present I am going to share a recent collection of them with you. May you have a deep and glorious 2009. Blessed Be.

(Oh. And sorry if I have quoted and not given credit: most of these came to me without an author.)

Be kinder than necessary as everyone is fighting some sort of battle of their own.

Compassion is the highest form of intelligence and the truest sign of genius.
Robin Brown

Say what you want & be who you are. Because those who mind don't matter & those who matter don't mind.
Dr. Seuss

Don't worry what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and DO THAT.
Because the world needs people who have come alive. Howard Thurman

Take into account that great love and great achievement involve great risk.

When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three R’s
Respect for self.
Respect for others.
Responsibility for all your actions.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.

When you realize that you have made a mistake take immediate steps to correct it.

Spend some time alone everyday.

Open your arms to change but don’t let go of your values.

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

Live a good honorable life and then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.

Be gentle with the Earth.

Once a year go somewhere you have never been before.

Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.