for they shall inherit the earth

The first hand is eight years old.

The second is 11 years.

The exact age of the third hand? Only God knows.

No one bothered to write down the date that hand was brought into the world.

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“A lot of kids in my class say bad things about Somalis. I don’t tell them that I’m half Somali,” my 11-year-old said this evening. He mentioned the same thing last week.

I suggested he might considering pointing out to these kids that there’s a lot of variety among Somalis, that they no more deserve to be lumped into one category than any other group. His dad, who is Somali, advised him to let the topic pass without saying a word.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about living with a minority, it’s that many of them don’t buy into this idea of sticking up for yourself, of calling out the unfair treatment. It’s all about not making waves, about not upsetting people who have the upper hand – and just may use it against you if pressed. I have a feeling my boys are going to take their cues from their daddy on this one. Perhaps that’s best. Blessed are the meek.

what I learned

Today I’m blogging at Djibouti Jones about the challenges of forming a diverse team.

This past September our oldest son started kindergarten at a public school in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. At the first meeting of the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) I learned that the school now has fewer than half Caucasian children in its student body. The PTO, however, does not reflect the diversity of the school’s students. There were a few parents of color at the first few meetings of the year, but the only people who consistently show up are white moms.

Read the rest of the post at Djibouti Jones.

Loving Day

Forty-one years ago today, the Supreme Court struck down state laws banning interracial marriage. Now June 12 is known as Loving Day, named in honor Richard and Mildred Loving, whose suit against the state of Virginia and the existing “Racial Integrity Act” led to the reform. It’s a day to celebrate the legal right to interracial marriage.

Current estimates are that seven percent of couples in the U.S. are mixed racial couples. I’m a part of that statistic. I’ve learned more about racism in this country by being married to someone with a different color skin than any other experience I can think of. Perhaps we’ve come a long way in the past forty-one years, but for the sake of our son, I hope and pray that some day soon this country will be populated only by the “color blind.”