Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Passion's Point on Parenting and Racism in the Classroom

We used to get a lot of compliments.

If your child is multiethnic, parenting becomes a little more challenging as they get older. Sure when they're young, you'll have some parents remarking on the wonderful tan quality of their skin, or how nice and curly their hair looks when compared to other babies. But as they get older these attributes become the difference that make them stand out from their classmates and not always in the most positive light. If their heritage made them stand out when they were babies, you would be ignorant to assume it would stop there.

Even though we live in the new millenia, people are still trained by what their parents believe, who were trained by their parents believed, and so on and so forth. That being said, not everyone sees 'race' the same way.To some, being black or white makes absolutely no difference. To others, it's a world of change. 

Take our president, Barack Obama, as an example. People have been hounding him for a birth certificate to prove he was born in the United States as well as for him to prove how he possibly got into an Ivy League college. He is also the first black president and has a traditionally an Islamic name. You can't get further from white than that. Have past presidents been forced to prove their citizenship and good education? 

No; but a black man has to. As a parent of a multiethnic child, you have to be aware of this especially if you are not multiethnic yourself. And yes, you can totaly argue that what Obama is going through has some sort of merit...if you're white.

The first day of school. From left to right: Cherish, our father, Aja
Tia, and Passion. Here, Passion is in second or third grade.
From my experience, my mother (who was white) would rarely put any emphasis on something wrong being done to me because of my race. Once when I was in 3rd grade, a substitute teacher who was very old and white made all of the darker colored students sit toward the back of the class. She then refused to call on any of us, even if no white kid was raising their hands. By lunchtime, another teacher had seen what was happening and reported it. The clearly racist substitute had been removed and we had to spend the rest of the day with another class.

And when I came home and told my mom about what happened, she dismissed it quickly. Racist situations that your child finds themselves in may seem ridiculous, especially in this day and age, but you'd better believe it still exists. The worst thing you can do is dismiss it. Instead, talk with your child about it and let them know it was wrong and coming only from a place of ignorance.

By Passion Hannah


  1. This is so enlightening! I absolutely LOVE your blog. The Donald Trump birther issue has been silenced, hopefully forever, now that President Obama gave the green light to kill Bin Laden. What's Trump doing? Getting more hair plugs?

  2. This is totally true, I completely concur with everything you've said, and Ilve faced some of the same challenges.