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  1. #1
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    Question Black children, white privilege, white parents

    Hi :-)

    I'm a lurker here, and I pop in and out occasionally when I need a refresher course, new ideas to chew on, etc.

    Now I need some input.

    I am the white adoptive mama of three beautiful black babies, ages 2, 3 & 4, and I was recently indtroduced to the concept of white privilege. I was raised in an all-white area, and now live in a majority black area. I joined a transracial adoption group on-line where I first heard that I was privileged in society simply because I am white. I'm still pondering on that one, and I have some questions for the group here.

    If I am privileged because I'm white, how will this impact my non-white children? And if this will impact my children, how do I address it with them?

    I am looking for honest, constructive feedback... thank you!!!

  2. #2
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    honestly i wouldnt worry about it. just teach your kids to be good empathetic HUMANS and they'll be fine.

    that should take care of any type of senses of entitlements, whether that be from race, class, age, gender etc.

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  4. #3
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    Hi yourself,

    I promise to be polite, respectful, and to give you the best advice I can. I agree that one of the most important things you can do for your children is love them, but that alone won't be enough to build their self esteem in a world that WILL constantly try to invalidate their sense of worthiness. You've already had that explained to you on other websites so I won't beat a dead horse. What you need to understand now, is that your white privilege won't extend to your children. You are privileged because you are white. How do I know that? I know it because I'm an albino-that means I have skin lighter than any white person who isn't a redhead, blond hair, and hazel eyes (see my profile picture). When I had my hair straight, I got mistaken for a white person a lot. When I went natural, it was obvious I wasn't. There was a big difference in the way people treated me. I was listened to less, and disrespected more with the afro. As a teenager, with my hair straight, I and my sister used to conduct experiments to see if different businesses were racist. First I'd go in a store or restaurant alone and get excellent service. A couple of days later, I'd go in the same place with my sister and get ignored in the restaurants and followed around in the store. Unless you want to leave your children fighting battles against racism all by themselves as they grow up and for what it's worth I don't think you do, you will need to do several things:
    1. When they tell you someone has hurt them, even if it's a family member, you have to listen, sympathize, and investigate it. Don't just tell them they're overreacting or must have done something to cause it. Investigate the situation to see if it's true.
    2. Be prepared to talk to them about how to handle racist situations. If you have no idea how they should proceed, go to members of your support group for advice. Remember, all those black adults who are living successful lives, learned how to deal with the stuff the world throws at us a long time ago.

    Finally you won't need to address these issues for some years yet, because while black and biracial children usually become aware of race earlier that white children, most children under 6 or so of any race simply do not understand race the way older children and grownups think about it. Look at it this way. Being black to most of us means the majority of your ancestors came from Africa, right? Well, what is Africa to a 5 year old? The places that are real to us at that age are school, grandpa's house, my friend so-n-so's house, church, and/or the park. Race isn't real to young children. And one more thing, the fact that you're asking the right questions is a good sign that you will be a good parent to those kids.
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  6. #4
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    I think you should take advantage of your "special circumstances" to break away from stereotypes altogether and do what's right by your children, and only that. Don't try to fit into a mold that is being imposed onto you by society simply because you are white and your children are black.

    Personally, I don't know much about "white privilege" as you understand it. I am not from the US and have never lived there. However, I understand that people will often have some expectations of other people based on stereotypes. You hear people talking about "acting black" or "acting white", when, really, you are only a product of your environment, independently of your ethnic background.

    So, just raise your children to be good people, to love who they are and to not compromise themselves to please others. The fact that they are black, that you are white, that their teacher is Asian... it is just incidental. There shouldn't be a predefined attitude to adopt based on race alone.
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  8. #5
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    agreed with post above.

  9. #6
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    ITA with SisterGoldenHair67....
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  10. #7
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    Your question has been very respectfully and thoroughly answere here, and I hope you take all of the advice to heart. I just moved away from an area where several White people have adopted children from Ghana. One of was a really good friend and Pastor to me. We had a deep conversation about perception and it really had not dawned on him that his kids would be looked at a certan way because of their color because they live such a sheltered life. He was very receptive to what I had to say. As long as you stay open-minded, you will be okay. If there are people in your life who are willing to tell you these things, listen to them and then do what you feel is best in your situation. As another proster already stated, you have a prime opportunity here. Be blessed!
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