Thursday, April 05, 2007

what does anti-racist parenting/action look like?

Well, I'm thinking a lot these days about what anti-racist action looks like - for me, anyways. I'm actually having a hard time separating acting against racism from anti-racist parenting. I think it's all one and the same. I say that now while my son is still a toddler. That may change as issues associated with race come into play when he's older. At that point, there will, I'm sure be very specific parenting "techniques" that I will have to explore and employ.

I tend to think about things broadly. I see so many connections between things that sometimes it's hard to focus on something specific. So right now, anti-racist parenting has, for me, been about about the following:

- educating myself about racism, white privilege, and white supremacy

- challenging my own thought patterns and prejudices

- evaluating and altering my son's environment to make it inclusive of diverse people and messages (activities we do and books we read, mostly)

- writing and talking about my experiences & what I learn, esp. with white people with the intent of checking my thinking and nudging people to put anti-racist action to the forefront of their lives

- connecting with like-minded people to again, check my thinking, learn more, and continue feeling energized and inspired to do the work

- taking several larger scale initiatives (e.g. letters to the editor & continuing my membership to support a local independent community radio station, which airs excellent public affairs programs as well as shows by and about communities of color)

The part that I hope to improve upon is challenging racist speech and prejudices in my environment. I still find myself, most of the time, having difficulty doing this. I have challenged some stereotypes I've heard people say, but these interjections have been far and few between. I think I just need more practice.

What does anti-racist action look like for you, anti-racist parents, if you could generalize about some things you focus on?

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