New Haven, CT
I am “white.” I am not European-American, I do not have permission to honor my heritage with a hyphen. I am simply a member of the melanin challenged group that bears collective blame for something that some British, African, and Arab people did a few hundred years ago. It doesn’t matter that I am Scandinavian, with no British, African, or Arab blood at all.
I am also the mother of “mixed race” (AKA HUMAN) children. My child was sitting in a group of Asian girls, and they told her that she could “pass” and did not have to admit to having white blood. They encouraged her to deny me. I am not the only white mother to feel this type of pain–the pain that comes from knowing that your “whiteness” is something that stains your child’s PC potential in this screwed up society in which we live.
I recall feeling happy because Obama was biracial. I didn’t vote for him, but I couldn’t help liking the fact that he came from a family like mine. That was before the 2010 census came out. In the census, although he had the opportunity to affirm his mixed heritage, he decided to mark, “African-American” only on his form. He got to celebrate, hyphenate, and dance on his mother’s grave. After the moment I heard about Obama’s census, I hated him. I hated him on behalf of his mother, who is dead but even if she were alive she would never have the heart to hate him for his betrayal. She would probably even understand why he did it, and maybe even say that it was the right thing to do. White mothers are supposed to be invisible, and be ashamed.
The definition of racism: Making someone feel ashamed because of who they are on the basis of race. Anyone who feels ashamed of being white is a victim of racism. Never apologize for who you are.