Thursday, April 10, 2008

Color-Blindedness in a Multi-Ethnic Family

I have blogged previously how being a parent of children from multiple ethnic backgrounds has made me more "color blind" than I ever thought I might be. Most days I don't even give much thought to the reality that there are more people of color living in my home than there are majority culture types.

There are those who assert that it is racist to even claim "color blindedness," and I agree with that concept in principle if, in fact, it means another way for a white-privileged person to deny equity to someone from another ethnic background. So, as the caucasian parent of children from various ethnic backgrounds, I try to walk an honest walk. I treat my children without regard to their origins, but at the same time try to affirm the richness of their cultural identities. My goal is to create a household in which value is placed upon human personhood, not some external, while at the same time nurturing a respect and identity for each of my children. This can be challenging, but it is a priority.

I was reminded today that perhaps we have been somewhat successful in instilling this value in our children. Claudia and I were on the way back to our house with Wilson (age 9) and Dominyk (age 11), who had just finished their school conferences.

Me: I think I'm going to get my hair cut after this. I'll take Dominyk, too. Is that OK with you, Dom?
Dom: Sure
Mom: Wilson, do you think you should get your hair cut, too?
Me: Nah, I don't think Wilson needs his hair cut yet.
Wilson: No, I want my hair like it is. That's the way Asians like their hair.
Dom: You're Asian?!
WIlson: Umm, yeah.

So, today Dominyk learned that his younger brother is Asian.

How about that for color-blindness?

1 comment:

Gary Zimmerli said...

Bart, that's one of the real beauties of your family. I've come to really enjoy having them all in our church!

Colorblind? I think the differences enrich our lives!