Being in an interracial marriage means that I am confronted more often with the injustices and racial tension in our society. As much as I wish it didn’t exist, it does. So, the Chef and I have and continue to make intentional decisions for our family as we live in the world and confront these injustices.
Some of them are big, some are small. A big decision that we are intentional about is living in areas that our children will have access to other adults and children from various backgrounds. When I take my children to the park now, they hear many different languages spoken and see people of various backgrounds. We feel this is very important to their development, understanding, and empathy of the world we live in. If they attend school and have friends of many different backgrounds, it gives them a real face of the dynamic world we are a part of.
A smaller decision we’ve made is to be racially respectful in the language we use in our home. This of course includes the bigger words such as the N-word, and racially derogatory words, but also smaller words.
A few days ago, I posted a blog about where I referred to the boys as “little monkeys”. Now, to most white people this would be a term of endearment. This is certainly how I meant it. But to many black people, it brings negative connotations in which they were compared (physically speaking) to monkeys. It was derogatory and offensive. The Chef kindly reminded me of this and asked that I be careful to not use this word flippantly when describing the boys.
To some, this might seem nit-picky on his part. To others it might seem that he’s trying to be “politically correct”. But I see it as our family CHOOSING to be loving and sensitive to those around us. We choose to be careful in the language we use. We teach our children that one way to love our neighbors is to care about their story, their history, and their pain. My “right” to use whatever language I choose (and flippantly do so) does not supersede my responsibility as a Christian to love accurately. This was one of my small teachable moments of the week.
And here’s a picture of my little penguin and chicken on their first outing to Trick or Treat last night. They went to a party on campus for a few hours and then around the block to a few houses. They had an excellent time and were very friendly with the neighbors. My sister came up and we had such a fun time!