I was tagged for this one by Shelliza. She doesn’t say if she was tagged, or if she made this meme up herself. But I’ll go for it.
1. I am:
Mostly British. Some of my family came to the U.S. as recently as maybe 4 generations ago, from England. Some of them came over back in the mid 1600s. I remember growing up saying I was English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh. I did our family genealogy a few years ago, and couldn’t find any Welsh, and the Irish and Scottish were both disputed. Some of my family came over as indentured servants, some as farmers, I don’t think any of them were rich when they arrived. At least, not many.
2. My child is:
Half British, half East Indian. I say British, because all of the groups I mentioned above are considered the ‘British Isles’, right? Her East Indian half comes via Ted, who was born in Canada, and his parents, who were born in Guyana. So you have to go back several generations to get to India.
3. I first started thinking more about race, culture, and identity when:
I was 16 or 17, working at Mr. Steak. (Boy, for such a short term job in my life, it sure comes up a lot on the blog, huh?) My male coworkers were all black, my female coworkers were all white. At one point, the restaurant was closed, but we were all sitting around talking, and I noticed that it was just the girls out front talking. I asked where the guys were, and someone said, “In back, probably eating watermelon”. I got up to go get some. Someone stopped me, thankfully. But that was a stereotype I hadn’t heard before. I’d like to say I didn’t hear many, but I guess I did, because my grandparents were very racist. I tried to ignore it as best I could, and my mom usually called them on it anyway.
4. People think my name is:
July. I swear, my name is Julie, and some people cannot spell it. Odd, huh? (This answer might be more interesting if I were Maya…she has a more interesting name.)
5. The family tradition I most want to pass on is:
The ability to cope with life’s struggles, and to maintain a sense of humor about it.
6. The family tradition I least want to pass on is:
Ignorance. My family comes a long way each generation, so I think I’ll be OK on that one. But I have heard my grandma say that she’s tired of black people complaining about slavery, because her great-grandfather died in the Civil War to free them. What she ignores is that on her father’s side, there were people fighting that same war from the other side. And my great grandfather refused to go through high school graduation, because he would have to stand next to a black boy.
7. My childâ€™s first word in English was:
8. My childâ€™s first non-English word was:
Does Findi count? (That’s fake Hindi…when you make up words and say them in an Indian accent.)
9. The non-English word/phrase most used in my home is:
Mostly Findi words that mean nothing, often used to scold the dog. 🙂
10. One thing I love about being a parent is:
Watching Maya grow from a dependent little girl into an independent young woman.
11. One thing I hate about being a parent is:
The fights that come along with Maya both craving and fearing her independence.
12. To me, being an anti-racist parent means:
Teaching Maya that all people are created equal. I would like to say that we are teaching her to be color blind, but sadly, that’s not the world we live in. And actually, to understand someone’s color, and therefore maybe some of their culture, gives the world some of its beauty. So to me being anti-racist means acknowledging people’s differences, strengths, and weaknesses. Admitting to yourself that the color of someone’s skin does sometimes inform their beliefs and reactions to the world. Working with this information, and not judging someone as better or worse than another based on their ethnicity.
Also, being an anti-racist parent to me means to walk the walk. Standing up for your child, or yourself, or a stranger, when you see racism in action. Donate money to causes that support your beliefs in this area. For me, I donate to the Southern Poverty Law Center. They do amazing work. Check them out.
As for tagging…no, not going to tag anyone. Feel free to take this one on if you feel like it.