White mom, colorful kids, heart ripped.

Tanya Haney
Middleton, WI

I am a white mother and school employee; my kids are white, Asian and I have been a foster parent to an African-American child. I have been struggling and driven to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem of institutional racism, but I struggle daily. People look at me and they see “white lady,” and I am a middle-class white woman, that is my background, but I bring more to the table that people don’t see and sometimes I am the witness to overt racism because I am “the white lady”. More commonly, though, people just haven’t got a clue how much the deck is stacked or how their learned racism contributes to it. I weed out thoughts that come up in my head every day because I have learned them through the media, through others in my life. I have to challenge people I love because I can’t stand to hear them label others I love, or label the background of others I love. My hope is that the kids at school will feel respected by me and my kids at home will learn to recognize racism when they encounter it, and check it in themselves. It is a daily struggle, and sometimes it wears me out. I break down crying sometimes, just thinking about how high a mountain we have to climb before all my kids will be treated equally.

 

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