Black History Month – 2016 is the perfect time to rebroadcast this awesome piece. Do you know Calvin Hennick’s story? He’s a white dad with a black son and his fears are real.
Good morning WordPress kin,
the year shan’t wind up until we’ve met begin.
This week week will be short in the year of 2014
and while I’ve loved every moment, we need a new scene.
Saturday eve caught me “in-read” on Google and Yahoo.
Twas on the latter search engine that I found this dude:
Calvin Hennick is his name and he’s quite the writer.
His stories are so good, I had to be a biter.
I had to share them with you – he’s a dad of biracial kids.
And my heart goes out – from this world that we live in,
and my arms are stretched open, because he’s not alone in his plight.
I peacefully protest for his son to have the same rights as whites in his life.
It breaks my heart that Calvin Hennick would have to voice such concern,
I wish no one to feel the pain of hate, racism or prejudices burn.
However, through Calvin, we can all learn. He has more than a few points.
Race has no humane place and is due to exit the joint.
Have you got a few minutes? Well if you do kick back and read,
the most awesome two stories I found on this weekends YAHOO feed:
Since Yahoo Parenting launched on Oct. 23, the editors and writers have posted nearly 600 stories on the site. They chose this article – originally published on Oct. 27 – as a highlight of the pieces that offer trusted advice, inspire provocative conversations, and hopefully add a little fun to your life, every day.
In the days after the Michael Brown shooting, I wrote an essay titled “I Hope My Son Stays White,” detailing my fears about what might happen to my biracial three-year-old son if he grows up to have dark skin. The upshot: America, to its shame, is still a place where black males are feared, and I don’t want that fear to turn itself on my son in a way that leads to his arrest or death.
I published the piece on Ebony.com, and the reactions from black readers ranged from “sad but true” to allegations that I myself was engaging in the very racism and colorism that I was decrying. But buried among these was a comment from a white reader who accused me of “sucking up to black folk” and then went on to list the supposed advantages of being black in America. (Apparently, according to this reader, my son will have an unearned fast track to a career as an air traffic controller. Um, okay?)
I can’t help but think that, if the essay had been published in an outlet with a larger white readership, many more commenters would have chimed in to deny the continued existence of racism. In my experience, white people (and straight people, and male people, and Christian people — all groups of which I’m a member) tend to dismiss the notion that we’re privileged. It’s an uncomfortable thing to acknowledge that you’re the recipient of unfair benefits, especially when those benefits are often nearly invisible to those who receive them.
But when you’re a parent, those privileges stop being invisible. It’s the reason why male congressmen with daughters are more likely to support women’s issues. It’s the reason why Ohio Sen. Rob Portman suddenly declared his support for same-sex marriage after his son came out as gay. And it’s the reason why, everywhere I look, I see hassles that my son will have to face that I don’t. Here’s a partial list of things I can take for granted, but which will likely be problematic for my son:
1. I Can Walk Through a Store Without Being Followed
To take one high-profile instance, Macy’s and the city of New York recently settled with actor Robert Brown, who was handcuffed, humiliated, and accused of committing credit card fraud after buying an expensive watch at the store.
I never have to worry about this happening to me.
2. I Can Succeed Without It Being Attributed to My Race
When my wife, who is black, received her acceptance letter from Boston College, a peer told her she must have gotten in due to affirmative action, effectively ruining the experience of receiving the letter.
When I succeed, people assume I’ve earned it.
3. I Learned About My Ancestors’ History in School
I can tell you all about Louis XIV, Socrates, and the Magna Carta, but I always wondered when we would finally learn about African history (beyond Pharaohs and pyramids). The subject never came up.
4. I Can Lose My Temper in Traffic
Once, an acquaintance who got into a confrontation while driving told me how scared she was of the other driver, describing him as a “big black guy.” When I get heated, no one attributes it to my race … continue this piece on Yahoo.com
Wasn’t that an amazing and heart felt write?
This next piece is just as equally out-of-sight:
Race doesn’t exist for my kids yet. To my 3-year-old son, I’m “blue” or “gray” or “yellow,” depending on the color of my shirt. And my 5-month-old daughter is primarily concerned with whether or not I’m holding something shiny.
Soon, though, they’ll notice that Mommy has dark brown skin, that Daddy’s skin is sort of pink, and that theirs is somewhere in between. Eventually, they’ll figure out that these differences actually seem pretty important – that people who look like Mommy and Daddy tend to live in different neighborhoods from each other, tend to attend different schools, and are often portrayed differently in the media.
And they will have questions.
I have no idea what I’m going to say to my kids about race (or sex, or bullying, or any other number of complicated topics that haven’t come up yet). So I set out to talk to parents of older black and biracial kids, as well as a couple of experts, to get some tips.
Here’s what I learned.
I’m Already Doing Some Things Right …
Susan Linn, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School and coauthor of Talking to Children about Racism, Prejudice and Diversity, says my kids are already getting positive messages about diversity through the books we read (The Snowy Day and Jazz Baby are two favorites) and the people we interact with in our diverse neighborhood, family, and social circle.
“It’s important to have books and toys that reflect cultural differences and racial differences,” she says. “You’ve surrounded him with people who are a variety of races and ethnicities. That’s an important start.”
…But That’s Not Enough
“There is research showing that, unless there is some kind of intervention early on, young children do pick up societal norms,” Linn says. “Doing nothing, or pretending that race or racism doesn’t exist, doesn’t shield your kids from it, and could result in them picking up the societal norms about racial inferiority – all the things you don’t want to happen,” … continue this piece on Yahoo.com
I mean, I don’t know what to say, Mr. Calvin Hennick is on his lifes purpose,
as were Mayor De Blasio’s comments, (I’m sure by now you’ve heard this).
I wish racism and prejudices didn’t exist and I wish the right of life
were the rights of all men, not just to my family that’s white.
I wish that when Calvin intitially brought this up – it had been whole heatedly received.
Don’t be so quick to judge. Sit for a spell in our daily seats.
Calvin has a lifetime to raise his awesome bi-racial kids.
Mayor De Blasio know’s first-hand — because he’s got his.
Rosie Perez raised a good question in discussion on The View:
‘Does everyone need a bi-racial kid before they GET IT too?’
Hm. I read every last word in each of Calvin’s writes. Very interesting stuff.
I know with black men being killed, Calvins outlook must look rough.
But I want you to take heart Calvin, you are indeed on the right road.
Your son will learn well, after sitting a spell to read all that you’ve wrote.
He is a very blessed child indeed, I wish him not one day of gray.
and I love each and every one of you. Let’s eradicate prejudices and hate.