Monday, March 17, 2008

akin

so, i have this female co-worker/kinda friend, who's involved in a live-in relationship with a he/she. that is, a guy who used to be a girl. both my co-worker and the he/she person have ISSUES from their past. like, they both grew up with screwed up parents in dysfunctional homes with abuse and abandonment, drugs use, and everything in between.

aside from all that, my (white) co-worker has a young child with a black man, who is a total deadbeat, pot-smoking, duii-convicted, loser. he's just barely in the picture, and when he is, it's a headache. anyhow, i got to thinking about the young daughter my co-worker has, and how this bi-racial (maybe i should just say black) girl is being raised in such a chaotic lifestyle.

my first thought, and i have to be honest here, was: that poor little black girl. yah, it's sad for any child to grow up in some weird kind of lifestyle with parents that have issues. but to me, if the child were white, i might stop for a minute and say 'so sad for that child...' and then keep going. but to me, it's sadder that that child is a little black girl, raised by two white people (who can't truly relate to her black side -the side which she'll need the most relating-no matter how hard they try) who are in a very non-traditional lifestyle/relationship. and i can't really put a finger on why exactly i feel so strongly that the part about her being black is so distressing to me.

maybe it's because i remember what it was like to be confused and feel out of place because i didn't quite fit in with the "real" black people or many of the white people (well, i seemed to fit in with the white people a little more for a while, but that's a different post. plus, even though i fit in more with my white friends, i still didn't trakinuly relate to them as much). and i'm not biracial and didn't come from a wacky home environment.

or maybe i just think that there are enough issues with black children without having one in the mix of that environment. but even those reasons doesn't really explain why i feel the way i do.

16 comments:

Natalie said...

The "normal" family is no longer the norm in this country. If the child has two parents who love her she is doing better than many people out there. However, I do agree with you that it can be disturbing to see w black child with no positive black influence in their life. She may or may not have a hard time understanding where she comes from and it is up to her parents to make sure that she is getting the support she needs. My white mother had no problems learning to cornrow my sisters hair and while our Black father was always around we still had our share of identity issues (particularly my latino looking self) but her parents need to make sure she knows who she is. Personally, their non-traditional family dynamic worries me much less than their whiteness.

Anonymous said...

first of all, let's just clear this up, black and bi-raciak are NOT the same thing.
second of all, i'm pretty sure the child won't grow up with that may more issues as most children growing in this world today, unless that is she grows up to be judgemental and close minded as you. as long as she is in a loving home, with parents who love and look after her, that's really the main thing.
and maybe you need to get a hobby or make a patchwork quilt or something because you watch people WAY too much, dont watch what her or her parents are doing - just do you

Kay said...

A "he/she" isn't a guy who "used to be a girl". I believe the term is Male to Female transgendered. :)

Also: I worry that the daughter might have issues growing up with white people, but then again, I don't really think so. If you're raised in a loving home by parents who care for you, I don't see how that could cause major problems.

(President) Obama turned out just fine being raised by his white mother and white grandparents. :)

Black American Princess said...

Anonymous: In this country black and biracial are the same thing. I am actually more concerned though that this child is growing up with a mother who seems to be confused about her sexuality and does not bother to shield her child from her dating. First she is with men then women then women who used to be men? That would be fine if it was just her but its not she is very selfish. This could impact the child in terms of stability. Instability seems to have a greater impact on minority children more than white children (probably because of the other things that goes along with being a mino) plus on top of that if the parent does not bother to raise her to be strong could lead to a very unhappy child, IMO.

Natalie said...

I would also agree that black and bi-racial are the same thing in this country. I've been called plenty of derogatory terms geared at black people even though I don't look black. It's actually pretty offensive for someone to try to take the black experience away from someone because they happen to have a white parent.

Ana said...

I've peeked (lurked) on your blog for a while now. I am also a bw married to a wm so I can relate to a lot of your experiences. I can understand your disturbance (for lack of a better word) of the situation this child is in.

I agree that at some point she will face issues that her parents can't relate too being a child of colour. Who will she turn too? Sometimes, love isn't enough when it can't relate.

t-HYPE said...

Just another lurker's opinion:
I totally agree that the kid's gonna have issues because her parents (the one present and the one absent) have issues AND she's a little black kid in America that doesn't have any black influences.

Why that's hard for people to understand, I don't know. Love does not necessarily equal good parenting. Does a mom who gets her 8-yr-old a bikini wax love her daughter any less than one who brings random men & women in and out of her house as sexual partners? Who cares? Neither is creating a healthy atmosphere for their child. It takes more than love to sustain a marriage and more than love to raise a child.

Soooo...I see your point, not only is this child growing up in a situation where she's faced with confusing information about gender but she's likely to be confused about race. What's left?

anjiebaby said...

Halle Berry said it, her mother is white but when she looks in the mirror she she's a black woman . . . not a biracial one. That's just an American fact.

But being black in America means there is a complicating twist to your life. Black people don't experience life in the US like white people do. We may hold jobs, go to school, raise families etc, all normal parts of American life. But all of that is done WHILE BEING BLACK, which does put an extra 'burden' on our shoulders, or atleast an extra task- being American while also being black; even though America has made it clear that being black is not a desirable trait in this country.

We have seen how young females are adversely affected by media images, pop culture, and fashion magazines.
Given that it doesn't seem that Portland has many examples of the lifestyles of different types of black folks, this can be damaging to the girl's self-esteem.

If she looks mixed or reasonably dark skinned/tanned (especially in 93% white Oregon), others will identify her as black, no matter how much the mother/family/others try to teach her to be colorblind, an explanation will be due if someone calls her a "nappy headed ho" or yells, "go back to Africa" and the worry is the mother may not be up to task to sort through those complicated types of situations.

I just hope she (the mom) has resources that do support/nurture the other part of the child's heritage in a positive way.

abagond said...

You feel for that little girl because you can see yourself in her shoes and know that she is so lost, like she is in a boat alone in a big ocean.

Path201X said...

Given all the genetic admixture among black people living in the US, what does the term "looking black" even mean?

cardiowhore said...

I think the situation should be sad for any child! and I dont think that the cild will be loved any less, there are plenty of biracial children that know who they are, their are many blacks who dont know who they are, its about the love you get and what is instilled in you from the beginning, I have grown up and watched children get crappy treatmeant from their own kind and they turn out crappy, I have seen children come from diffrent backgrounds other than their parents and turn out great! the bottom line is "shitty parents are shitty parents no matter what color you are and life will always be cruel! but we dont stop striving to be ourselves unless you are happy being a shitty person!

Anonymous said...

I think she's lucky. You never said how her mom and the transgendered man treat her. Even though they had sucky childhoods, they could treat the girl very well and make very good parents one day.

Anonymous said...

The commenter named Natalie needs to get a grip. Girl, based on your photo, you look Black to me. What's up with Bi-racial folks who think they don't look Black?

Anonymous said...

Why do you keep refering to mixed race children as 'black' and not 'mixed race' Also, Obama is not black he is 'mixed race'.

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