There are a lot of qualities that went into picking my life partner: his patience with others (and myself), his faith in God, his integrity, his love for his family and his sense of humor. Something that I never considered was the race of my partner. I am lucky that my parents raised me to appreciate differences, ask questions about cultures and get to know people for who they are. In high school, I fell head over heels for a handsome football player whom I now call my husband. My husband is all of those things above plus more. He is also African American, and I am white.
Recently, the publicity surrounding the movie Loving has been making its way around Facebook. Loving is a movie that chronicles the story of a Virginia couple, Mildred and Richard Loving, whose illegal mixed-race marriage led to the landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967 to legalize interracial marriages nationwide. It got me thinking … less than 50 years ago, our marriage would have been illegal.
I believe my marriage is stronger because of the fights we go through together — the fights to love each other despite the comments made behind our backs and the fights with people who accidentally make racist comments in front of our children.
I want you to know that today in 2016, racism still exists. There are people who will not engage in discussion with my family because they make assumptions about who I am or who my husband is. There are kids at my children’s schools who wonder “what” my children are – by the way the answer to that is they’re kids who are loved VERY MUCH. Yes, racism exists, but there is hope. There are people out there who truly love people for who they are. There are also parents like you and me, and we can make a difference!
There are things that you can do to help bridge the racial divide in our country.
As a white Christian mom of interracial kids, I ask that you please watch what you say in front of your children. Kids pick up on subtle hints about the “bad guy” over there. Show your kids how to love everyone. Surround your kids with people of different races, religions, and backgrounds. Let your kids ask questions! The more you know and can share with your kids the better chance we have as a society to raise loving and accepting little humans. I just ask you to stop and think next time before you make a comment about someone’s appearance in front of your child. Let’s work together to spread love and mend this world together.