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How Does Racial Sensitivity Affect Equality?

1 May

This blog post from The Stir has me REALLY stirred up.  It is entitled “Racial Sensitivity Courses Should be Mandatory for Adoptive Parents”.  Um…WHA?  The article asserts that adoptive parents should have to learn about the culture and community that corresponds with whatever race of child they choose to adopt.  The writer says that by the parents not knowing about the culture from which these adopted children come from, makes them less “who they are” and that they won’t know their “personal history”.   The author also goes on to say that no matter how badly we all want an “ethically ambiguous utopia where we are all raceless faces appreciating one another for the people we are inside”, that it’s not going to happen.

Courtesy Dreamstime.com

This makes me incredibly hot because in this country we are bombarded by people screaming for equality.  I personally don’t see color.  A person’s skin tone means less to me than the color of their hair.  Saying that White America (let’s be honest; that’s who this article was written about), will never not see race is like saying that blondes and brunettes in Germany would never live in harmony after the Holocaust, which certainly isn’t the case.

Furthermore, the children being adopted from other countries by parents of different races are being given a new “personal history”.  When a child moves here with an American family, no matter what their race is, they are now AMERICAN.  Their personal history, despite the color of their skin, involves the landing of The Mayflower, the pillaging of Indians, the purchase of slaves from Africa, the use of indentured servants from Europe, the Civil War, Prohibition, the industrial age, the segregation and then desegregation of schools, the KKK, the landing on the moon, and everything else that involves US History.  These children’s new personal histories include Baseball games, Basketball, American Football, 4th of July Celebrations, Memorial Day, Labor Day and all of the other US holidays in between.  Their personal history means that they are now American, no matter the shape of their eyes, the color of their skin, or the coarseness of their hair.  These children do not have to live in bondage to their original places of birth, their original financial situation, or their original demographic.  These children are given new beginnings to their lives and I don’t see what a racial sensitivity course would do for these children and their parents but help to divide the races even further.

Why can’t we live in a world where skin color is just as insignificant as the color of someone’s eyes or hair?  Why does the fact that my great-great grandparents owned black slaves or the fact that my great-great-great-great grandparents were indentured servants have to mold who I am today?  Why does the fact that my mom went to a segregated school have to have ANYTHING to do with me?

I’m not at all saying that we should ignore history.  Many horrible things have happened in this world that are noteworthy, but we are where we are today because of the strength of a few people including but not limited to: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Booker T. Nelson, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  These people suffered, pressed on, and stood up for their personal beliefs bringing forth the life of a new country, the death of slavery, the beginning of desegregation, the birth of racial equality, and the commencement of women’s rights.  These people endured hateful oppression and stood up to their oppressors so that we wouldn’t have to have ‘Racial Sensitivity Courses’ when we adopted children from different countries or ethnicities.  Correct me if I’m wrong but Martin Luther King Junior’s dream was that his “four children would be able to live in a nation where they would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”  And that one day “on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners would be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.”  How does requiring a white adoptive parent to take “Racial Sensitivity Courses” do anything to further this dream?  Are we supposed to teach Japanese American adoptees that their Grandparents bombed Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 and that they will be looked at differently than white or black people whose grandparents helped to initiate revenge?  Do we need to teach American Indian adoptees to hate white people because they raped their grandparents’ way of life and pillaged their land?

Courtesy of DoSomething.org

It is my experience as a white woman who was raised in southeastern Alaska that my history involves American Indians as much as it involves European settlers as much as it involves African American slaves.  The color of my skin should not dictate the way that I speak, dress, or eat.  It should not affect the way I view my place in society, my education, or the success of my career.  As a northern-raised woman who went to college in the South, I can also attest to my experiences with racism.  I’ve been called horrible names by African-American women because I was hanging out with “their men”.  I’ve heard Caucasian men kick a beautiful half African-American woman out of a party because of the pigment of her skin.  Racism is not unilateral.  Where does it end and how can it end if you, yourself, aren’t willing to part with the past? (And by you, I mean YOU reading this, whatever your heritage may be).

I believe that until we, as individuals view ourselves as equal, our world will continue to be a place filled with bigotry and ignorance.  You are no different than me due to the amount of melanin in your skin, the shape of your eyes, or the language spoken by your birth parents.  We are equal in my eyes and it saddens me to think that you, whomever you may be, may feel differently.

I have a dream that my three little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin or the shape of their eyes, but by the content of character.  And it is my job as their mother, to help mold their characters to be worthy of judgement.

-Written while my eldest “little child” plays outside with two little Asian boys, one African American boy, and one Caucasian boy in complete harmony, no one aware of the fact that they all have very different skin tones.

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A Quickie

18 Jan

I was put on “Pelvic Rest” for this pregnancy about 6 weeks ago. For those of you who don’t know what pelvic rest means, it means no fun after dark. No playing “hide the salami”, no dancing the horizontal mambo, no mid-afternoon “naps”, no more practicing for more babies (so what I’m already pregnant?), you get the point yet? Basically the reason for this is so that no more trauma is being done to my cervix that began dilating and effacing at 27 weeks. BAH HUMBUG! So like this week, we tried busting doc’s orders and it resulted in the tell-tale soreness and pressure in my nether regions. No bueno.

Then today, The Stir posted a titillating post called 5 Ways to Have Sex Without Having Sex. Ok, so these ideas aren’t completely brand new but they definitely revved my engine. My doctor doesn’t really want me to even have any uterine contractions if you know what I mean, but it doesn’t mean I can’t get excited about something, right? Check out the website for some fun ideas on how to keep things fresh in your bedroom, whether you’re on bed rest or not.

TSA Invasion: Boobies Beware!

29 Nov

There has been such a hubbub about the new full body scanners in airports.  This insurgence of media coverage has caused me to spend quite some time thinking about what I would do if faced with the possibility of going through one of those vs. having a full body pat down.  I also think about how the images could possibly be used by the people running the machines, other than for the obvious reasons.  I think about it a lot while I’m driving and even more when I’m out shopping.  I often find myself wondering what the handsome man at the furniture store looks like without his clothes on, or how good the cashier at the clothing store REALLY looks in the buff.  I really should get a job with TSA so that I don’t have to wonder anymore.  These machines show EVERYTHING.

What you might as well wear next time you travel the friendly skies.

It’s really quite amazing!  I happened upon a website just this evening that shows an image of a woman in “The Machine” (insert lightening flashing and thunder clapping here).  The top image shows her face very much blurred out but the bottom image clearly shows her face.  The caption discusses the fact that the image the TSA “pervert”is  reviewing is not the same image that they show to you, and that it is not in the slightest anonymous.  Um, no.  I would imagine not.  These pictures clearly show *cough* junk and other schtuff.

Here’s my take on the whole TSA body scanner uproar:  At one time in my life, I was a hot, solid bodied thing but guess what?  I’m not anymore.  I’m a little round around the edges.  I’ve breastfed 2 kids and my boobs are not only enormous but also, well, to put this lightly, a little saggy.  I’ve got extra deposits of lard around my hips, thighs, and knees.  Hell, I think I have some extra Crisco in places I didn’t even know you could GET fat. (Ladies, you know what I’m talking about here.)  I’ve got an attractive face, but certainly nothing that could detract from the Romanesque picture that would show up on a TSA full-body scanner’s screen.  Ok so let’s just assume the guy (or gal for that matter), likes what they see on the screen?  (Hey, it’s possible, my hubby thinks I’m sumpthin’ else to look at.)  What are they really going to do with  my image?  Rub one off right there in the airport?  Let’s get real.  I am, however; under the impression from this article that the images can, in fact be saved.  Ok, so that is kinda weird but I’m not super concerned with my image being saved for a little fun after work.  You can get much better free porn on the internet.  I hardly believe these TSA workers are so underpaid that they can’t afford internet.

That brings me to the grope-downs that are now being offered in lieu of the full-body scan.  I love being touched.  It’s one of my favorite things.  I’m just not sure that what I want before walking onto my 6 hour flight to Seattle is to be felt up.  Perhaps on the flight but don’t get me all excited before I have to sit next to Mr. Stinkyman who invades 3″ of my total 12″ seat space, while munching on stale peanuts!  Have you seen a video of the pat-down they are now issuing?  It’s pretty darned invasive; nothing short of sticking a finger in various holes, I tell ya’.  While watching the video I thought, “Hm…I wonder what women with breasts like mine have to go through during this enhanced security measure?”  I really could hide a handgun underneath my boobs and they’d never find out.  Unless, of course, they physically lifted my boob up and felt up under there.  Do you think they’re doing that?  I’d love to see some bra-less old woman in a muumuu go through the new grope down.  I can just imagine her partially toothed smile as a burly TSA security-woman had to lift the traveler’s breasts with two hands and feel under that sweaty spot with her free foot.  You know, just in case there’s a nail file under there.

So what would I do?  I think I’d rather be the one having all the fun instead of someone sitting in a booth enjoying my curvaceous form in negative-image.  Yeah.  I’m in for the grope-down.  C’mon and love me down!  How about you?

Footnote:  I hope those of you reading this didn’t take it too seriously.  This was intended to be a satire, please and thank you.  I think the 4th Amendment rocks.  Ask Mr. Lenhart in Juneau-Alaska at JDHS (assuming he still teaches there).  I did a debate on a 4th Amendment illegal search and seizure in high school…and won.  So there.

Three-Cent Thursday: 2 (19) kids and counting…(?)

18 Nov

Please tell me you’ve heard of the Duggar family?  I first heard about them when I accidentally ran across their TLC TV show “18 Kids and Counting”.  They have since added another child to the mix making their show, “19 Kids and Counting”.  And counting?  Seriously?  Their last child, Josie was born seriously premature and fought for her life for 6 months before being allowed to go home.the 19th child She is now 11 months old but still has to be hooked up to oxygen at night to sleep.  Her siblings have to tiptoe around her and the family is constantly worried about germs.  During a chicken pox outbreak at the Duggar compound earlier this year, Josie and her mom had to spend a couple of weeks at a rental near the hospital where Josie was born so that she wouldn’t be exposed to the virus.  Soon after, the family shared a cold and hand sanitizer became a way of life.  I’m all for sanitary conditions but this just compounds the way that I feel about this family reproducing any more.

Who am I to judge, you ask?  I’m a mom who survived 3 months of bed rest with my second pregnancy due to a 50% effacement at 26 weeks.  After living on my sofa for 2 months, I began to go crazy.  I thought about taking myself off of bed rest and just living life as regularly as I could without doing too much (more) harm to my fragile cervix.  Luckily I have a very supportive husband and mother-in-law who both took care of me in their spare time and who also insisted that I stay off of my feet.  My doctor did let me have one hour on my feet a day at that point (for another month).  Sounds great, huh?  Nope.  I can equate it to giving a diabetic a 2-lb bag of their favorite candy and telling them they can have 1/2 a bite per day.  It sucked and I swore I’d never get pregnant again, despite the fact that bed rest was successful and my daughter was born full term.  I didn’t want to put myself through the hell that was bed rest again.  That might sound selfish to you but it’s not.  I also have an older son who was 7 years old while I was on bed rest.  I couldn’t spend any time with him other than watching television (yay) and even that wasn’t a fun pastime for me.  I couldn’t bring myself to smile, laugh, or even feign interest in…anything.  I slipped, very quickly, into a pretty dark place with which I was not familiar.  I cried all day, every day that I was alone.  On the days that my mother-in-law came over, I was fine until she left.  Upon her departure I would bawl my eyes out until my husband got home around midnight.  That depression hasn’t left me 14 months after giving birth to my daughter.  I still find myself crying over nothing when I’m alone.  I still have to (almost quite literally), wind myself up to do housework or even get myself out of the house.  I can’t find the drive to write anymore.  I don’t have any desire to go to school. The thought of going to a PTA meeting makes my skin crawl.  Hell, I don’t even want to spend time with my friends because I have some (paranoid, I’m sure) delusion that they all quietly hate me and don’t really want me around.  None of this is me.  NONE of it.  Not one single word of it.  My point?  I’m not as good of a mommy right now as I could be.  This whole bed rest situation put me in a really bad position to be able to raise my children with the love, care, and attention that I think they should be raised with.  And guess what?  I’m pregnant again and facing possible bed rest situations…again.

I will be 24 weeks pregnant on Saturday and as of today, my cervix has shortened 2cm in 4 weeks.  It’s not as grim as it sounds; I was 5cm thick 4 weeks ago and am only 3cm now.  My doctor is only concerned because I shrunk 2 cm in a matter of 4 weeks and I am feeling the same pelvic pressure that I felt with my daughter before going on bed rest with her.  I have options if it comes to that but I’d rather not even discuss those right  now.  I’d rather discuss the fact that Michelle Duggar had 18 successful pregnancies before she had her nearly-fatal 19th pregnancy.  How must have that experience left her?  I have a difficult time believing that she is perfectly fine after that.  I know she has her faith whereas mine is on more shaky ground but c’mon!  Let’s be real.  Having a child born weighing just over 1lb and having to spend 6 months in the hospital is enough to change any parent.  I know that I would be absolutely nuts and I would probably have my tubes tied immediately to prevent any further heartache and/or wrongdoing to my children.  I knew that getting pregnant again was a risk but the biggest risk that I face, is having to spend a few months on bed rest.  I don’t have to worry about the fact that my body has already weathered 19 previous pregnancies and is tired, worn out, and older.

This will be my last pregnancy.  Why?  Because I don’t want to go through this worry and concern again.  After this baby is born, I want to get myself “right” and become the Summer that I was before I was put on bed rest.  I owe it to myself but more than anyone, I owe it to my kids.  I owe it to them to be available to them at the drop of a hat when they need me and to not have to mentally prepare myself just to be in their presence.

And THAT’S why I have a problem with the Duggars wanting more children.  So that’s my 2 (3) cents for today.

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