Rage And Racism: What I Teach My Kids About Anger And Ignorance

Photo credit: kenjacobsen35

This is a difficult post to write. I’ll warn you now that some of you simply will not understand. Some of you will think I’m reading into things, that I have a chip on my shoulder, am paranoid or I did something to bring this on myself.

To you I say, walk a mile in my shoes.

For as many of you who scoff, click off this post and shake your head, convinced that I am overly sensitive, there will just as many who understand. I won’t have to explain the indignity  because you’ve lived it.

I’m an African American woman, married to an African American man for nearly 19 years. Together we are raising a family right in the middle of middle class, where I was raised.

But sometimes when we leave the place where we know people and they know us, we run headlong into a world with some who, regardless of what they’ll admit publicly, see color first.

I ran up against such an incident recently. The details are not important; it just reminded me that along with helping my children navigate the labyrinth that leads to adulthood, I must also teach them how to deal with the unpleasantries delivered by people with an abundance of anger and ignorance.

  • I Teach Them Not To Return Fire 1 of 5
    I Teach Them Not To Return Fire
    If you've ever been on the receiving end of an unfair attack based on hate, you know this is easier said than done. But using similar weapons to fight back just ratchets up the madness. I teach my kids not to feed into a stereotype or get drawn into a battle they can't win and ultimately is not worth fighting. Photo credit: TheImageGroup
  • I Teach Them Not To Let It Throw Them Off Their Game 2 of 5
    I Teach Them Not To Let It Throw Them Off Their Game
    I never let race and racism throw me off my game but it did almost throw me off my bike. I was about nine-years-old, riding down the street when a boy hurdled that horrid "N" word from across the street. I was so stunned, thinking, "Is he talking to me?" that I almost fell off my two-wheeler. I never want my kids kids to expect to hear that word, but I don't want them to be as naïve as I was. Photo credit Rene Syler
  • I Teach Them To Hold Their Heads High 3 of 5
    I Teach Them To Hold Their Heads High
    The messages from me to them are: "You are smart. You are worthy. You make me proud. What you say matters. You have a right to be here" or some variation thereof. Photo credit Rene Syler
  • I Teach Them To Come Home To Cry 4 of 5
    I Teach Them To Come Home To Cry
    As many of you know I'm a big believer in allowing your vulnerability to peek through. In most cases. But in instances that involve race, I urge them to come home to mom and dad. We'll hug, love and arm them with the tools they need to deal with ignorance. Photo credit Rene Syler
  • I Teach Them To Complain With Their Cash 5 of 5
    I Teach Them To Complain With Their Cash
    I teach Casey and Cole about purchasing power. I refuse to spend my money at a place where I am not appreciated. I don't have to make a scene, but I do have to be treated like everyone else; I'll take my dollars and ease on down the road. <a href=" Photo credit 401(K) 2012


Yo! Nice to meet you! You can find out more about me on my blog, Good Enough Mother.

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Other posts by Rene:

10 Lessons I Learned From Being Fired And What You Can Learn Too

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly; How a Marriage Works

Let Your Kid Fail! And Other Ways To Avoid Raising A Spoiled Brat!

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