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How do you explain racist people to our bi-racial children?

Theresa - posted on 07/22/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )




I am white and my husband is black, we have two boys ages 9 and 11. I have tried to explain to my children how there are white people out in this world not approve of them because of being part black, and vise versa. I have also explained no matter what people say or think about them to always have an open heart and not to judge someone from apperance, sometimes people who are considered racist are just following what they have been taught or in the enviorment they grew up in. I would like to hear what other moms think?????


Angela - posted on 08/03/2010




I try to teach my children that racist people are just the same as any person being mean for any other specific thing. If what is being said is ignorant..being if they are getting picked on for the color,clothes,hair,voice,friends, ANYTHING..that they should just stay away from it. In other words.. I try to teach them to stay away from all negativity, I don't just push it onto racism because, anything can make a person insecure or angry.

Diane - posted on 03/23/2015




THank you for recognizing that hate and racism comes from both white and black people

Janet - posted on 07/28/2010




Hi Theresa,
My name is Janet and I have 4 children ages 9, 13,15,and 17. When my kids were little, I wanted to do it right. As a mom I wanted my children to have the very best life I could provide, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Being a white woman with bi-racial children left me with concerns. I'm sure you feel the same since you are here asking.

So 13 years ago I took to the internet and found a web site in search of answers. The web site I went to seemed to be the right one. It seemed to embody the freedom to speak and have black voices heard. Unfortunately, I was treated very badly despite the fact that I was trying to offer my bi-racial children the benefit of my implementation of the very best nuggets I could find concerning how best to raise them in a balanced and educated way. I wanted them to be proud of all that they were and to have respect for both cultures they were born into. What a HUGE disappointment! Not only was I humiliated and cursed at, I began to question my relationships with black women. I wondered if secretly they harbored resentments toward me. It was a very confusing time in my life.

Theresa, what I found in the end after my journey concluded...There's PLENTY of hate to go around.

That kind of hate comes from anywhere...blacks and whites. I decided that I didn't want my children to grow up in a world where they "looked" for hate. Where they felt a constant need to self protect. Instead, I chose to focus on faith and ultimately the peace and love that comes as a result of our faith in Jesus Christ and his loving Father and the Holy Spirit who is our perfect counselor. Love was the answer I chose.

Now I'm not going to lie, my kids were faced with some pretty uncomfortable situations. The little girl who asked why their mom and dad were different colors...parents are supposed to be the same color. My daughters response was that it would be boring if we were all the same. Then there are the teenagers who get angry because of their light skin...more so the girls than the boys...we dealt with each case as it happened. That was an issue mainly in those middle school years and as my kids have grown more mature, they simply avoid those kinds of people and choose friends that truly care for them.

Theresa, I think the best thing you can give your kids is a sense of value within your family first. THAT is what has gotten my kids through any trouble they have ever run into. I think that is the best you can give them. As these situations came up, we discussed in age appropriate ways how to deal with the emotions they felt and how to move forward. I think they have had some wonderful character building moments and I am so proud of who they are becoming.

Trust your instincts will know what to do. Love them and give them as many opportunities to be in diverse circumstances. Hopefully where you live you find the kind of diversity we have here in our area.

Blessings Theresa and if you ever need to talk, I'd be available.


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Codi Bernice - posted on 03/23/2015




Theresa Kincade - As a white mother of 2 boys who are part African-American, I've had to explain to my kids the exact same thing you did about people not approving of them... I've had to do it on my own since their dad is not in the picture, but I tell them mommy loves them exactly as they are... I also emphasize them having pride in being part African-American and how special that is... good luck.

Victorya - posted on 10/06/2010




I will tell my son that people are people no matter where they come from or who they are. I will tell him that there are people who will say things about him and to him because of who his parents are. And not to judge these people because they are just ignorant. And if anyone has anything bad to say they are not worth his time.

Jackie - posted on 10/04/2010




I wasnt angry about the cinco de mayo thing. I was hurt and in shock. I didnt give up though. My son has every right to know his heritage and I'll never stop getting him exposed to both sides. I want him to be proud of who he is. I want him to know that no matter what others think that yes he is half white and yes he is half mexican but he is all human and deserves to be treated that way.

Melissa - posted on 10/04/2010




hi! tomorrow i have a pp. with my son's principal to tlk bout his teachers behavior we'll see what happens tomorrow. don't listen to people when they say to leave just because is 5 de mayo some people are sick i have seen people get angry when they see me with my husband(white and latinos) but we don't care.

Nicole - posted on 10/04/2010




Being biracial my self (my mom is white and my dad is black) i encountered it all. Even when we lived in Japan (we went to the american school) the only other mixed girl in my class was the meanest girl towards me. Then living in Syria for a couple years (again at the American school) the one white kid in my class was the meanest to me. We had mulitiple encounters mostly ending with me crying (lol i was in grade school) but my mom never had the "racism" talk with me. I obviously figured it out for myself by the lessons taught in school.

Going to high school in a predominately white school wasnt hard because of my races, it was hard cause kids are mean no matter what.

I have 3 kids now and NONE of them look like each other. (their father is Puerto Rican) i always get strange looks when im out with my 2 sons (they are both fair skinned and one has blue eyes) but who cares. People would stare if i had strange colored hair and dressed funny.

I dont think i had to "pay" for anything my parents did. They feel in love and had me and my sister and they are still married, thats all i can be thankful for. They STILL get looked at when we are all together, thats life.

We just have to teach our kids tolerance, respect, and to know not everyone is gonna like everything about us. My kids NEVER questioned why we are all different colors, but they acknowledge it when they color pictures of their family.

If you want your kids to grow up in a specific world then if they go to the real world or get thrown in a predominately white or black environment its hard. Teach them to live their lives for themselves and not to let someone elses critical opinions matter. IT will only make them stronger and more secure (at least thats how i am) about who they are. It doesnt matter whos around them. I live in a completely white neighborhood now and being expsoed to tons of cultures and people at a young age makes me think it doenst matter whos around, i live how i want to live and do whats good for my kids. My husband always thinks people are staring at us and have racists thoughts because he grew up thinking anyone that isnt like him is racist.

I cant say it enough, dont teach them to look for racism cause then they will try and see it everywhere (even if it isnt there) As they get older they will know it exists but they will live their lives without having a chip on their shoulder. But this is all completely my opinion and from my experience growing up biracial. My mom did an awesome job at teaching us to love one other and not focusing on helping us "adjust" as biracial women.

Jackie - posted on 10/03/2010




As you can tell from my pic Im casper white. My son is latino. His father isnt a very dark mexican but his relatives are very dark mexicans. My son gets lighter the older he gets/ When he was born he was pretty dark but started changing when he was about a year and a half. His father hasnt been in his life but I would like for him to still experience his culture. I speak a little Spanish and I speak it to him. He has no contact with the hispanic side of his family due to their actions so I dont have much help in the field. I did take him to the Cinco de Mayo celebration here in town and was told to leave. I wanted my son to see how rich his hispanic heritage is and to have access to it at an early age. I was told that since I was white I couldnt be there and I tried to explain that I was there for my son. I even showed them his social secutiry card with his very latin name on it. How much more latin can you get than Vincent Anthony Castorena? I still had to take my son and leave.
Racism is a pathetic thing and its not always how your raised. My mother didnt raise us kids to be racist. My oldest brother was jumped in high school by 15 black guys and that made him racist. I married a mexican and spent most of my time with him and his black friends.
I've been asked if I kidnapped a baby and who I was baby sitting for. Sad thing is that he has all my facil features but brown eyes, hair, and olive skin tone. All we can teach our children is right from wrong and sadly when they get out in the real world they will make up their own minds. I hate it but thats the reality of it. No matter how hard we try to shelter our kids thats how its going to be. They cant help that their mom and dad werent the same race but theyre the ones that will have to pay for it.

Melissa - posted on 10/03/2010




hi! im new here i have 3 biracial children im mexican and my husband is white my children have been thru a lot people stare talk about them specially when my husband is with us my oldest son look mixed my second son look white and my baby looks mexican my oldest son teacher is racist and talks about me infront of her class and humiliates my son people are always going to be this way,when my son jacob was a baby the walmart secutity asked me if the baby was mine i got angry and i said yes and i left the store (jacob looks 100 % white) this happends at school too.

Christina - posted on 08/04/2010




I don't think it's possible to not see color. My son knows his mom and dad look different. However, he knows that there is no difference in how much we love him. I think that is what people need to focus on - there is no difference in the expression of love. Nor is there is a difference in the expression of hate. People use another person's race as a reason to express hate - it is just a cover for a person's ignorance. I teach both of my children to focus on the fact that everyone is different, to recognize those differences, but hate is the color of ignorance.

There's a book called, 'The Color of Water' by James McBride. It was written by a bi-racial child of a Jewish mother and black father. When he asked his mother what her race was, she always said it didn't matter. However, when he asked his mother what color God was, she said He was the color of water - pure and clear. When I read this, I thought that is what we all need to teach our children that is what we need to strive for - to be the color of water - pure and clean within our hearts. It is only then can we conquer ignorance and hatred.

Samantha - posted on 08/03/2010




I have 4 biracial children and have raised them in a predominately hispanic area. I never allowed racial slurs of any kind not even with 'just the guys". They all know about racism and that ANYONE can be afflicted with it. Maybe it is just the area I live in but my kids really haven't had a problem with it. I also think it isn't as predominant as it used to be with all the technology and music that kids have access to.

Tammy - posted on 08/02/2010




Let me start by saying there is racism on both sides. I happen to know for a fact that all cultures and races can tend to be racist. First of all it is taught and ingrained in them, not to hold it against that person, just be who you are, sweet and loving towards all man kind regardless of the race or health that they are in. My children are both bi-racial and have health problems, one is still special needs to some point. So they have had to learn to deal with meaness and cruelty from both adults and children. Unfortanetly my children have kind of withdrawn themselves from the outside world due to the cruelty of their illnesses. I feel there should be meetings at the schools with just the parents in the auditorium so they can hear from the parents what this does to a child, but the school that my daughters where at wanted to brush it under the rug like it wasn't happening. they said it was to delicate of a subject, both race and mental illness. Some day I will get a chance to utilize my daughters experiences to help others, until then i will use avenues like this.

Lexi - posted on 07/22/2010




Let them know first off that racism is taught. Parents ingrain hate into the child's life. How can someone be born to hate someone before they even know skin difference. I will let my daught know that on both sides of her ethnicity are people who hate. Try to teach your children that the only way to fix this is by letting them know just one act of kindness towards a racists person can make a little bit of difference.

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