Like most of the world, I was shocked and upset by the news of what happened to George Floyd. For police brutality and injustice to happen again and again in our country is appalling and impossible to ignore. The recent events have forced me to look internally and at my own {white} family and ask some difficult questions. Have I remained neutral in situations of injustice against Black Americans? Have I turned a blind eye because race can be an uncomfortable topic to discuss? Have I ignored the basis for riots and protests because I can not relate, or it seems outside of my “suburban bubble”? Unfortunately, the answer to all of these questions is YES. Ending racism starts at home.

Furthermore, my inaction regarding the topic of race in our home has left my young children to conjure up their own thoughts and opinions.

My five year old daughter said something really eye opening this week. Black Men Break Glass. Her statement shook me to my core!! We are a family of lovers, of givers, we have multi-cultural friends. We volunteer as a family, we raise money to support charitable foundations that matter to us. As a parents we try to lead by example and do the “right thing”. Why would OUR daughter say Black Men Break Glass?

It turns out I’ve missed a key component of parenting white children. Discussing Racial Bias– and I don’t think I’m alone.

My daughters’ statement stemmed from a video of a riot on the news {a video I had no idea she was watching BTW!} where she saw people looting, setting fires and defacing store fronts in the name of years of injustice. In her mind, a riot is chaos, it’s messy and by default must be wrong. Alternatively, her perception of white, male police officers is that they Save The World from dangerous people. A message restated constantly in children’s books, on kids shows, and PSA’s.

We need to change the narrative here. We need to get rid of preconceived notions and stereotypes in our society; while at the same time stop the stigma of naming and discussing race.

From what I know, Black people aren’t upset they are black. It’s a part of their identity and they are proud of it!! Conversely, when I explained to my daughter that she is “white” she replied. “I’m not white, I’m just a girl”. From what I’ve read recently, that seems to be white privilege.

I used to think that teaching our children to see a world without color was the answer, and therefore never felt the need to name or discuss race. {It felt crude to me, but maybe uncomfortable is a better word?}. I’ve changed my view here. Ending racism starts at home.

Instead of teaching children to see a world without color, it’s important to shine a light toward, and discuss the beauty of different cultures, skin tones and races. Open discussion about race creates normalcy and takes the shame away. If you’re white in America, that means being aware of the privilege that you’re born into, and then using it for good. To lift people up.

This is our opportunity {as parents} to take the topic of racism to the level of our children. Ending racism starts at home.

As a Mother of a five and seven year old white children, I struggle with how much to share about race and injustice. I want to maintain their innocence without growing ignorance. I do know that I want to prepare my children to be advocates for change, for love and for empathy.

stuffgracemade

Here are the ways I plan to cultivate racial awareness and acceptance in our home. I’m starting at our family dinner table with this article.

See below for a few more resources that have been helpful to me this week. Many of the resources are from the Important Anti-Racism Resources for White People.

Books:

Podcasts:

Instagram:

I also really enjoyed this article about raising race conscious children.

While I clearly don’t have the answers, I’m proud of the way so many are coming together and setting an intention to listen, to learn and to do better.

Cortney Zieky
Cortney is a mother of two, #atxfoodie and lover of fitness! She married her soul-mate, Max, after a love at first sight experience in Las Vegas. Together, they have two children Zander (7) and Zia (5). As a family, they love exploring Austin, trying new restaurants, s’mores by the fire, and vacationing in CO & Cali! Her passion lies in health and wellness. She adores grocery shopping, farmers markets, cooking new recipes, and exercise! Cortney is on a quest to keep her family healthy, dining on the cleanest ingredients, while still having fun and eating paleo chocolate chip cookies!! She started a Health Coaching business in 2019 to help families find the joy in living and eating healthfully! Follow her journey and learn more about her coaching services @happydinneratx and www.happydinneratx.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here