It has been a couple of months since my last post, and the reason is simply: I was too busy mommy-ing. Today, though, I felt like I really needed to get something off my chest.
Growing up as a foreigner is not easy. First off, when you are growing up, the immense pressure to fit in makes it that much harder to find out who you are. Assimilation is so convenient and powerful – first it started with my clothes, then my friends, then my thoughts. It eats away at you – little by little – and if you are like me, eventually it completely consumes you.
My husband is American, with little to no idea what his heritage truly is. I am Vietnamese – I speak, read and write the language. But I also speak, read, and write English and French. And like my husband, I don’t know my true heritage.
My husband has not dealt with racism – other than racist comments his family blurts out. Usually, I smile politely when someone is being racist – it gets a little hard when these “someone’s” are your in-laws/family members/friends. And I personally never saw the harm in it – I always justified it as “everyone’s racist, unless you act on it, it’s okay.” But is it? Is it okay to be racist?
No. The short answer is No.
It is NEVER okay to racist. And when you’re a parent, it means that much more.
Racism starts in our thoughts. So if we can curtail our thoughts, we can change our perception and then, our behaviors. Children are not born knowing races and colors – and I will ensure that my children are not going to be racist assholes. This much I promise.
I am a parent and I am going to protect my children from ignorant fools who are out there bashing, degrading, belittling, name-calling, bullying, and hurting others by teaching them that that is wrong. My children will not be racists. They will not be jerks.
My children will learn to love, accept, understand and respect everyone.
Today – November 15, 2016 – I failed. I did not stand up for me or my children’s heritage against racists. Let this be the last time I fail.