(This post is a vent)
Even before Izzy was born, I spent time daydreaming about the things I wanted for her, the life that I wanted her to have. Opportunities that, as hard as my parents worked, they were unable to provide for me. Playing an instrument in the band, going to summer camp. I want her to have sleepovers, and big birthday parties, and great friends. I want her to bring home the same kinds of grades that my husband and I did, and get tons and tons of scholarships. I want her to have a career that she loves, and marry someone wonderful, and “have me some juicy grand babies!” (Only, of course, if these are the things she desires for her life. Except the grades. That’s not negotiable.)
Other people that know Izzy have things that they want for her too! Ballet lessons, basketball camp, cotillions, someone even threw out first black female president!
With all the hopes and dreams that I have for my daughter, the responsibilities and values that we want to teach her, it warms my heart to know that other people want the best for her too. But then, someone HAD to go and say “I hope you let her be black. We don’t want her around here acting like a white girl.”
“Are you serious? No, really, you HAVE to be kidding, right? So……what you’re saying is….hmm….let me process this for a second.
Ok, allow me to try to break this down a little. Apparently, you’re looking at my husband and I (black) and you feel that we act “white”? WHAT IS ACTING WHITE?
(I feel the need to put in a disclaimer here. I am FULLY AWARE that none of things that I am about to list below are specific to any race. That is precisely why it’s ridiculous. The things that I am about to list, are EXACTLY what this person considers to be acting white, although the offending party CLAIMS that it’s not true. I know this person very, very, VERY well, enough to know exactly what she meant. She has a very
idiotic specific idea of what being black is, and she has picked at me about ALL of these things at one time or another.)
“Is it because we are 23 &25 and have no credit debt? Is it because we both choose to drive our old (but in good condition), paid off cars, in lieu of having a car payment? Is it because our apartment isn’t filled with useless things that we don’t use and couldn’t afford? Is it because we don’t sustain our lifestyle on credit cards? OHHH, wait…..is it because we have excellent credit? No? It’s not that? Ok…”
“So, is it because my husband is a realtor? Is it because I stay at home with my daughter? Is it because I use the internet? Is it because I read? Is it because we were married when she was conceived? Is it because we named our daughter Isabella? Yeah, that has to be it, right? No? That’s not it? Oh, dang, I thought I had it.”
“Is it because we eat healthily? Because I make Izzy’s baby food? Because I breastfeed? Because we have stock investments? Oh, you know what, this I have it. I know exactly what it is. It’s because Byron can swim, isn’t it? I can’t, it’s just him, so does that count for something? No? Ok, well…..I don’t get it then. I’ve named off all the ways that we don’t fit the “black people stereotype”, and you say it’s not that, so what it is? Why do you think our daughter will be “acting white” And again, what is acting white? Oh…you have to go? You’ll talk to me later? Oh, ok, yeah, just call me back when you get finished on the other line. Ok, bye.”
Really, someone explain please.