Public radio dork

For the last few mornings on NPR, they’ve been broadcasting stories on adoption. Monday, they interviewed a white couple that adopted two biracial children. Yesterday, they spoke with parents who adopted two young girls from
India. Today, they spoke with a woman who was adopted from
Korea in the 1950s – she was the child of a Korean mother and a British father.

I was hooked from the beginning – the first story gave me a revelation that I should really have had years ago, especially as a good left-leaning Democrat. When the white mother was sitting down with her school-age biracial daughter, showing her all the cards the family received when she was adopted, the little girl noted that all the babies were white – and she was not. The mother then began sending cards with people of different races on them to her family, and when her mother (the child’s grandmother) sent the little girl a birthday card with a black little girl on it, the little girl exclaimed that her grandmother really did love her. 

The mother said that taught her that it wasn’t okay just to not be prejudiced – you need to be inclusive. 

Inclusiveness is a buzzword often thrown around at my workplace. It’s something we believe in strongly as an organization – and something I believe in personally. But I feel like I never really knew what I believed in until I heard that story. It’s so simple, and it should be so natural. Why would anyone not want to be inclusive? Why would you want to make someone feel left out or alone or voiceless?  

I’ve never really understood racism – the ugly hate of someone different than you, the sweeping generalizations of an entire culture. I hope I never do.

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5 Responses to Public radio dork

  1. Sarah says:

    Nice post. Couldn’t agree more.

    I remember that in third grade, they began Black History Month. My mother went NUTS. Now, my mother is a hippie at heart, and her argument was NOT against diverse teaching, but that her daughter (moi) came up to her that same year and said, “Why is black history different?”

    Kids get it. We often don’t.

  2. Erin says:

    My dad likes to tell this story about me when I was a kid…apparently I came home from school and was telling the parents all about my new friend Latoya. I guess my dad repeatedly asked me if she was black. I didn’t know what he meant. I think kids are cool that way.

    Racism is such an ugly thing — but I also really have a problem with the whole PC color-blind phenomenon. We are NOT all the same, and who would want to be all the same? I think we need to recognize our innate human similarities while celebrating all the amazing ways that we are different. Now, all I need is some crackers to go with my cheese!

  3. I remember Oprah saying that she was always sad as a kid that all the angels she saw represented in art were all white. Of course, she said she was then inundated with beautiful black angels. One artist even painted an angel with Oprah’s face. 🙂

    Good post!!

  4. Vixen says:

    Excellent post. My first “boyfriend” was in 3rd grade. My mother had apparently done a great job of training me to be color-blind in spite of my racially prejudiced grandfather. When gramps kept harrasing me (he was a bit drunk, god rest his soul) about having a “black” boy holding my hand, I told him “Grampa, Pierre isn’t black…he’s French!”

  5. bad4shidduchim says:

    I don’t get the point of Black History month either, in that way. Significant contributions should be part of the regular history curriculum, just like white and American Indian stuff.

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