Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Why this blog?

Thank you, Susan Raffo, for being the first contributor to this brand new blog! This is the start of a conversation I have been longing for for some time now.

There is so much that rushes through my mind as I think about my hopes for this new online community. Why a blog for white parents, you may be thinking? And, what's this anti-racist stuff anyway?

The idea is to form an online affinity group of white parents who are dedicated to raising their children with an anti-racist outlook. That of course means that they, or we, are committed to recognizing and challenging racism in our own heads and our surroundings.

Do I really know what it takes to be an anti-racist parent, and what's more, do I dare call myself one? At this stage, perhaps I'm more of a wannabe. My desire to get out of my head and start taking action led me to starting this blog. My hope is that we can bounce ideas off each other; that here, we can vent our fears and frustrations without bogging down people of color, from whom we may be wanting approval, lessons on racism or whatever else they just might happen to be sick of being asked to give us. We white people need each other to put things into perspective better, to understand the issues better, and to be better equipped to join in action and dialog with other groups cross-racially.

As Beverly Daniel Tatum, the author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria says: "Affinity groups [are] separate 'spaces' that facilitate positive identity exploration, where people can pose questions and process issues. . . The shared goal in making affinity groups available is to interrupt the cycle of racism. For white people, this might involve processing their reactions to racism: typically, shame and guilt. . . Affinity groups also help individuals participate in larger, blended groups. They are good for overall community-building."

With that said, I want to invite others to participate in this discussion. Whatever thoughts and insights you may have, related to the journey of anti-racist parenting, are welcome, as long as you write with honesty and respect.

Thanks for stopping by and come back to talk again.

- Tereza Topferova

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