Kyle and his wife didn’t worry about their racial differences. They were simply in love. But when their son was born, they had to consider the implications.
We honestly had no idea.
When my wife and I started dating, we weren’t thinking about how our relationship was part of a growing trend that is currently changing the cultural landscape of America. We didn’t think about how as early as our parent’s generation, a union like ours would have been punishable by exile from friends and family, imprisonment, or even death. We just knew we were in love.
We didn’t really consider these implications… that is, until we had our son.
Before this, our lives were our own and we couldn’t care less about feelings and perceptions of others that disapproved. She didn’t care that I was an African-American who grew up in the inner city and I didn’t care that she was a Caucasian country girl from Maine. We were confident enough as individuals to see beyond color and culture. But now things are different. We brought a new life into this world. A world, while still evolving, unfortunately consists of people who will disapprove of who he is.
Interracial children tend to face adversity for many reasons, which include but are not limited to:
1. Identity. People (like myself) born from parents of one race tend to take their identity for granted. My skin color is just the same as my parents and most family members. From an early age, my “identity” was no mystery to me. However, if you are interracial, with your mom looking one way and your dad another, your identity can be confusing, especially at a young age.
2. Lack of Exposure. It is quite common for an interracial child to be immersed in one culture more so than the other. This can be due to growing up in a single-parent household, or to growing up in a neighborhood where a particular race is the majority.
3. Isolation. Children are naturally curious and unwittingly cruel. If you are a child in a school where you look or act different from the mainstream, you will likely be a target. This concept is no exception when you are an interracial kid in a class room full of other kids that look different from you.
With that being said, In addition to our regular duties as parents, my wife and I have another very important responsibility: To find fun and interesting ways to teach him about his different heritages, and instill within him a confidence of self. The idea is that love and acceptance from his parents and family will be enough to combat any negativity that he may face in this world.
Education through reading