Interracial chat with strangers
In this powerful and eloquent essay, Danielle Allen, a 2002 Mac Arthur Fellow, takes this maxim back to Little Rock, rooting out the seeds of distrust to replace them with "a citizenship of political friendship."Returning to the landmark Brown v.
It’s depressing to hear mixed-race families are still subject to such shortsightedness and bigotry.At first Ana Maria patiently corrected them, but she grew frustrated and offended as time went on, as the same people kept making the same incorrect assumption.She began to dress up — goodbye yoga pants, hello pearls — before going out with her son in an unconscious effort to set herself apart from the nannies.As he was doing so, a woman in an apartment overlooking the street opened her window to ask what was happening. My Ghanaian sister-in-law, Yom, has two mixed-race children with her white husband, Jared.He replied that he was simply trying to get his cranky baby into his car and figured that was the end of it. A few minutes later, as he was still trying to calm Nina down, a police car pulled up. The first time she took her daughter, Penelope, to the playground someone asked if she was her daughter’s nanny.I was angry this stranger would question my paternity of my son, because he couldn’t see past his own biases and stereotypical visions of a family.
I was heartsick he couldn’t see the love and connection between Zephyr and me.
Though such families are becoming more common — a 2015 Pew Research study found that multiracial babies accounted for 10 percent of births in the United States in 2013, up from 1 percent in 1970 — this reality still has not sunken in to some segments of society.
This lack of enlightenment seems to give nosy strangers — who lack decorum, delicacy and decency — the perceived right to question other peoples’ choices, or to make assumptions that are deeply upsetting to the parents. I feel like I’m speaking to kindergartners, but here are some tips for anyone thinking of questioning someone else’s family arrangement: Mind your own business.
"Don't talk to strangers" is the advice long given to children by parents of all classes and races.
Today it has blossomed into a fundamental precept of civic education, reflecting interracial distrust, personal and political alienation, and a profound suspicion of others.
We were both eating and laughing about something silly, simply enjoying a Saturday morning together.