I See the Color of Your Skin; and Here’s Why That’s Okay.

I usually have a thoughtful intro; but today, let’s Dig right into it…

In My Teens an into my twenties I’m constantly surrounded by statements like; “first black Disney princess”, “first black President”, “first African American woman” to medal in a specific olympic sport, “all black TV cast”, “black artists”… Sure we can argue that the world should stop placing color labels in front of things, but I can argue that we can’t change every single person in the world and that this is far from ending. We can’t surround our kids with these constant statements of color and then tell them to ignore or not see color. I see color. Here’s why that’s okay.

It’s okay that when I look at you I see a white woman. It’s ok when I look at me I see a black woman. It’s okay that when I look at some of my friends I see a white woman with a black man, or a black man with a white woman, or a Hispanic friend with the white husband, or a Filipino woman with a black husband. It’s okay that I look at you and see that because what matters is WHAT I DO and how I INTERPRET that information. I see it and I think it’s beautiful. I see it in my eyes and brain recognizes it and then I MOVE FORWARD with interacting with a HUMAN being. So what if I noticed your color when I saw you! When I drive down the road if a car cuts me off I noticed it was a SILVER van with a stick figure family or if the Lamborghini goes by me I noticed the pretty blue dreamy color. That’s okay! It’s about what we do with the information and how we interpret it. When I walk into a store I need to know what products work best on my black skin. What products are tailored to my black hair.

I can recall a moment where I was surrounded by a group of individuals who were racist towards my particular culture. I can remember looking around the room and immediately noticing the black skinned male across the room and giving a look to make sure that he was alert to the situation. I can also very well recall seeing all the people of white skin, the same color skin as the individuals who had such hatred towards people of my color, sit next to me ask me if I was OK and almost be near me as if a sign of Alligance. I can remember noticing the white skin of my junior high friend turn red and sweaty as I defended her from racial slurs. I also remember her big bright colored eyes look in to me and say “Im not even upset. This is the first time I’ve experienced this but there are people who have to deal with this all the time.”

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The beautiful, amazing Multiracial men in my life; accompanied by a skyline with many beautiful colors to take note of.

I also see color because I constantly want to educate my boys on some of the harsh realities of our world. I noticed this year that of all my son’s friends almost none of them look like him. They all have a lighter skin than him so far outside of family he doesn’t really have any friends of his same skin tone. I noticed that ,and while I know the kind of parents we are and how we will raise our kids to love each and every person they come across whether they deserve it or not, I know at a point I’m going to ask him if he notices that. If he knows that it’s okay to be friends and just hang out with anyone of any color as long as they have good character. We just haven’t had the specific opportunity to make close relationships with someone of his skin tone or some other skin tones yet. We have actually had several friends of our same culture get great opportunities and move away before our kids got old enough to really enjoy playdates talk and communicate. Though I know my child’s character and I know that he knows he can play and speak to anyone and I know his heart I’m still going to make a point to speak about it because I want to be 100% certain that I know where his character is and the same for my youngest as he grows. I am also going to be diligent about making sure they are able to gain relationships with people from many different backgrounds and of many different skin tones and that they know where my purpose is. So, saying that we shouldn’t see color is a misguided perception and nearly impossible for most of us. We need to remind our kids and remind ourselves that it’s about what we do with the information that we take in and about our Integrity & our Character.

I see you and I love you!

With Grace & Love,

LaVonda Marie

 

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