I Remember When I Lost My Mind There Was Something So Pleasant About That Place Even Your Emotions Have An Echo In So Much Space

Friday night my kids daycare had a Christmas party where they sang a few songs and had a visit from Santa.

Where to start. Straight off the bat I thought it was kinda strange that they would be having a “concert” at daycare, but whatever C, let it be. So we showed up at 6, where I was surprised to see some of the kids in their Sunday best for this shin-dig. Here my kids are still in whatever clothes they had picked themselves to wear to school that morning and I’m pretty sure Z had been doing some sort of paint project at school since it was covering her shirt, but whatever, let kids be kids right? So here are my two children looking like scrubs but happy, amongst the rest of the kids who looked great, but half of them were crying as the night got late, since they were younger and really didn’t get this whole ‘concert’ idea.

Anyways, this thing was a freakin’ disaster from start to finish. The staff had NOOOO clue what they were doing, and kept herding kids from one place to another and then right back from where they came because there was no communication. Then they had taped/hung some sheets in front of the kids cubbys for a backdrop or something, and used heavy Christmas ornaments/statues to hold the sheets up. Well the kids kept backing into the sheets, causing the statues to fall and two kids were smacked on the head during the singing, which caused more crying and chaos to ensue. Kinda hilarious for us parents of the non-hit kids to watch. I’m awful I know.

Then this one staff member L, who I actually think is the owner which makes it worse, wouldn’t just let kids be kids. Like when you go to a kids concert, you expect to see the cute stuff like nose picking and shyness etc. But if any of the children were’t doing the exact action, she would crawl over, getting in front of the other kids, therefore messing up any videos parents were taking, and literally hold their arms and wave them around herself. Like it was ridiculous. Lighten up a bit will you?

THENNNNNN, oh here’s where we get to the part that actually made me mad. And I can’t remember the last time I was MAD like this. Call this a rant I don’t even care, this need to be discussed and I need to get these feelings out because I was PISSED.

So, Santa was about to make his appearance. All the kids were herded upstairs (again so disorganized,  but that’s not my point) and made to sit in silence, which I question since they were taking pictures with Santa, not videos, but again, not what actually made me mad, just would’ve done things differently myself considering it was supposed to be a party not a funeral home. The same L lady told all the kids they would get to have a picture with Santa and they would be choosen in order of goodness, which yeah started to bother me, because they should never be judged on character in front of each other. But as soon as she said that I saw my girl Z sit up so nice and straight and fold her hands on her lap, a position she held the entire time. Santa Ho Ho Ho’d his way in and her face lit up. She’d been talking about him all week. All the details of his visit, where will he park his reindeer? Is he scary? What will he look like? Will he know her name? On and on and on. Little E knows Santa is not real, but he played along with me in getting her prepared for this visit and she was so excited for this moment. So when L said kids would get to sit on his lap for a picture in order of goodness, I wasn’t too impressed, but when she started choosing kids willy nilly, I was like well that’s not really cool, it probably leaves kids wondering why aren’t they “good”enough. But when she choose kids yelling in her face, and  running around the room, I got annoyed. But what absolutely pissed me to no end, was to see one by one, she chose each and every *white* kid in the entire daycare, until the only 4 who were left were my 2, and 2 other mixed race sisters.

I was incensed. Especially because as I observed L’s decisions I realized that she didn’t give one fuck. These 4 kids were probably some of the best behaved kids in the room. They sat perfectly quite in their spots without shouting out or causing trouble in anyway. But she blatantly chose kids based on “goodness” in front of them and picked kids who were very obviously behaving worse than them. And parents other than me noticed. And since it’s not obvious that I’m my children’s mother, discussed her poor choosing right in front of me. I was not the only one who noticed this palpable racism. But I’m probably the only one who did anything about it.

After all the kids had finally had their turn, Z stuck around. She was the only kid who was so deeply enamoured with Santa that she went back for a couple hugs after, staying to watch him until the very last moment after all the other kids had gone to eat cookies and other treats. Like when I say this was a special moment for her, I mean she’s been talking about it non-stop. Calling her grandparents to discuss it in depth after and telling me all the dreams shes had about him since. This has affected her.

What affected me, was how her and her brother were treated along with the other 2 girls of colour. Never in my life have I seen my kids treated like this. We have lived in various cities in Canada as well as 3 in Kenya and my kids have always been treated equal to their peers, their skin never coming into play so unmistakably. So I left there with a hot head. and couldn’t let it go. If this is how they are treated on a day to day basis at the place that is supposed to care for them and teach them basic life lessons and values, then it’s an issue. A big issue. And my blood was boiling.

I couldn’t sleep that night without doing something, so I sent an email to the daycare stating my issue. Sure it could have been an oversight, and maybe it was by chance, but it was not a chance I was going to take. If my children are looked upon as less than because of melanin, then it’s a big issue that I don’t take lightly, and it needed to be addressed. Don’t worry, my email was way less wordy and not nearly as ranty as this. I explained my concerns and noted that if this was an situation that continued, then we would need to continue to examine it further. And yes I spell proofed and edited much better than this post lol. Anyways, no word back yet. Hopefully my kids don’t get kicked out of daycare for it? Although would the daycare be stupid enough to take that kind of recourse, because honestly at this point if they did something as overt as that… well then I have a case.


-Gnarls Barkley/Crazy-

 

 

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I Told About Equality And It’s True Either You’re Wrong Or You’re Right But, If You’re Thinkin’ About My Baby It don’t Matter If You’re Black Or White

Black. White. Yellow. Brown. Mixed and the list goes on.

My co-worker and I just spent 15 minutes chatting about if these terms should ever be used to describe someone. It started with her asking how I would describe E for example, and if using black was “Ok?”

So I was honest and said if I was pointing out E in a photo or something, the easiest describing way would be to say he’s the black guy. And since we’re not in the USA, it seems beyond weird to say he’s African-American. Well what if there are more than one “black guy?” she asked. Well then I’d describe him using any other distinguishing feature ie. clothing items, glasses, hair style etc. The same way I would do with anyone of any skin color.

I personally don’t feel that skin color has anything to do with who a person IS. Yes, it can help identify where they are from, as well as perhaps their race, but ultimately, for me, that is not the deciding factor on WHO someone is. It doesn’t tell me what radio station they prefer or what their political views are. It won’t tell me the hobbies they entertain in their spare time or what kind of books they gravitate towards. Skin tone won’t help me know if they’re a vegetarian or meat eater, nor will it help me know if they are prankster or Mr. Seriousness.

I believe people create themselves. From the time they are born, based on their likes and dislikes we form our own selves. All personal choices we make each day, form us into independent individuals. We use our reactions to certain situations to form thoughts and therefore opinions on everything, and based our next decisions on those. A race, or color is not WHO I am. All my skin does is hold the rest of my body together.

It’s not like skin that comes in different colors should be valued more or less  like Gold/Silver/Bronze medals. It shouldn’t even be compared.  It shouldn’t automatically place me in a certain category in life, except that the majority of peoples opinions and thoughts and therefore decisions on how we react to certain individuals has somehow along the way placed so much importance on skin tone than necessary.

No longer do people care about intelligence or kindness or even how you tie your shoes. For some reason society today chooses to judge human beings on something equally irrelevant as shoe tying. Which is what color your largest organ is.

Stupid.

As for me, if I were to describe myself, I’d say white or Canadian depending on the way the question is phrased. I wouldn’t feel the need to go into detail about how I’m one quarter Japanese, part Irish…. and it goes on and on. I also don’t have a huge connection to any of the countries my heritage comes from. So I don’t feel the need to protect the culture of… anything. So I would just used the simplest description: Canadian because that’s where I was born, but it’s not all that I am.

Sometimes I feel like African-American/Canadians/Blacks are trying so hard to maintain their individual culture, which has slowly been being invaded by others, that they don’t recognize that by secluding themselves this way, they might be in fact creating a situation that they fought so hard to get out of for too long.

Their ancestors fought so hard to diminish segregation, and the whole idea of keeping certain people classed certain ways because of race/skin color seems a step back to me. I feel that society had reached a point (a very shaky unbalanced place, but we got there) on the ladder towards equality, and now individual races may be working against that. Perhaps even taking a step or two down the ladder.

Case in point, I saw a story about how a large University in the states was holding a separate Graduation Ceremony for it’s black students and for some reason the black student body felt that was great. How? When you’ve been fighting to be seen as equal for so long, how would you see being viewed/celebrated in a separate light as a win? I dunno, to me it just seemed like a step back, that for some reason they were so proud of.

I have no idea the thinking or reasoning behind it, but to segregate a group of students from their classmates based on skin color to celebrate an achievement that they reached together seems like a downgrade. 4+ years of hard work together, studying, partying, growing friendships across cultural boundaries for 4 years, only to be told that come Graduation you’d be celebrating apart because of the color of your skin?

What a pity.

As for myself, yep my skin is white. In the summer it tans and in the winter I look like a pale ghost. But I’m still me. I’m a mother of two who is doing her best to find herself in this confusing world. And in doing so, I will do my best to not judge others over something they have no control over.

Do I judge others? Of course.

If you make a stupid decision or act like a fool, in my head I will judge you. But that’s your life and those are your choices. As for me, based on what I see from you, I will either choose to either associate with you or not based on your CHOICES and DECISIONS. Never on skin tone, or lack thereof. I chose my friends carefully, not because we were born in the same country or even the same neighborhood, but because our thoughts align and we make similar choices and our thought patterns are both close.

I don’t care what color your largest organ is. I’m more concerned about the hypothetical color of your heart.


-Michael Jackson/Black or White-

Pardon Me Your Epidermis Is Showing Sir I Couldn’t Help But Note You’re Shade Of Melanin

Ok… So feel free to keep reading. In fact I would encourage you to, but I will warn you now that this post will most likely offend some. But, we all know by now that won’t stop me from writing it.

These last few days, this whole race issue has been heavy on my mind. Between cutting out my own family members and dealing with fall out from that, as well as realizing people’s true stance on the issues that have been arising, it just feels like it’s definitely been at the forefront of every waking moment since the weekend.

So I’m going to lay it out here, because this morning, my boss made a comment, that I had to ignore in the moment, and to be honest at the time it didn’t seem like a big deal and I’m sure we’ve all heard similar statements and brushed them off as well. But as the day has worn on, it’s been bugging me.

My co-worker was basically just making conversation and made a comment about what was going on in the States (Charlottesville etc.) and my boss was basically like “yeah… whatever” and kinda shut down the conversation before it could even begin.

Now as I’ve been thinking about it, I’ve realized it’s that exact action, the action of in-action, is the definition of white privilege. By “avoiding politics” or wanting to just stay out of it, because in your “perfect” world it doesn’t affect you, that is privilege in action.

You are proving to the world that by being a white, well off man, you have nothing to worry about, and therefore you can just brush aside the worries or concerns that the rest of the world is facing. You don’t have the fear that your race, gender, religion, beliefs or any of that will lead to anything of consequence for you.

You don’t live in fear of bigotry, deportation, segregation, or random police checks that could end in beatings/murder. You’ve never had to fight for your life. You didn’t struggle to find a job with people judging you on your melanin, or where you were born, or your hairstyle for that matter, let alone a solid well-paying career.

You think that by staying out of it, you are fine, and will not be affected, and that is 100% true. Your life will not change one bit, by you ignoring the struggles of others. You will not know the pain of walking down the street and being called names based on your skin colour. Your days will continue on as they always have, easy breezy lemon squeezy. That is white privilege.

And I get it. I totally obviously do. Maybe not to the extent of my boss being that he’s male, but I’m a white woman living in a fairly white society, and I have a good paying job and a house and a car and life is good for me. But I have also been on the other side of things.

I was a white woman in Kenya.

I was lower than low. I was a woman, which is difficult enough even for Kenyan women, and I was white. I was a Muzungu. I walked down the street and had that insult hurled in my face on the daily, among MANY others.  It’s the equivalent of being called a N****r here in North America but for whites. Not everyone appreciated me being there. They thought I was there to steal their jobs and their money and whatever else goes through a racists head. I had to walk with E or my farm boy or a crown of neighbors when I went to town for my own safety.

So when I talk about white privilege, yes, I get it. I have it. I am privileged here in Canada. But I am actively choosing not to be blinded by it. I know from personal experience how it feels to be judged by my skin color, and nothing else.Those people in Kenya didn’t know anything about me other than the fact I was white, and still assumed I was a horrible individual based on that fact alone. And since then, remembering how I felt, the feeling of being unsafe, or almost in constant fear, I have consciously made a decision to never judge anyone based on skin color, tone, hair, or where they were born etc.

I will however form my opinion of you based on how you treat myself and other humans around you.

So yes, I understand “politics” can get annoying, or draining and you don’t want to talk about it sometimes, but that’s what privilege does. Makes you think you are safe and secure in your own little bubble. Allowing you to feel it unnecessary to join in with these situations.

But I’m saying maybe step out of your bubble for a second and stand back to take a look at the actual shit going on in the world. Not to fan the flame and spread hate and oppression, but to support the people who need it. Especially if you are in a position to do so.


-DC Talk/Coloured People-

We Still Got Terrorists Here Livin In The USA, The Big CIA The Bloods And The Crips And The KKK

I am livid this morning, and even that doesn’t accurately describe the level of emotion I’m feeling right now.

Maybe 1 or 2 weeks ago my Mom reposted some ridiculous propaganda on Facebook. I considered linking it here instead of describing it, but I can’t be responsible for spreading such misleading and inaccurate information so decided against it. Normally, for starters I’m not on Facebook, but the odd time I am, I try to ignore what my Mom posts, since she is the queen of reposting, although this one caught my attention and I had to view it.

This apparent ‘study’ was done on policing in the States and racism within. And basically ended by saying black men are NOT being hurt by police (despite all the overwhelming evidence otherwise) and that if there were no police, black men would only kill each other (despite no evidence to prove that).

I was fucking APPALLED that my own mother (who bitched at me for no longer going to church, and sleeping with K while still officially being married to E after filing for divorce 4 years ago) would spread this around, although at the time I read it, I didn’t say anything… until yesterday.

With everything happening in America in Charlottesville, I sent my mom a few links and explained that what she had posted bothered me, and was quite frankly embarrassing that she would spread that around as my mother considering my children are of mixed race.

Her basic response?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
I cannot believe I came from her.
With everything going on in the world today, I’ve realized that apparently it is quite easy for racists to exist and for that, I apologize. I continued to tell her that she was just being a sheep for reposting without doing any due diligence, or simple research on the issue, and so if that was too difficult for her to do, I would do it for her. And if she continued to post ignorant racist posts, I would make it my business to follow up and comment the truth. And then proceeded to block her.

Yes she is my mother, yes she will always be my mother, but I have my kids and their futures to be concerned about now. How I turned out the way I am, knowing someone with a thought process such as hers raised me is beyond my mental capacity, but I am so thankful I’m not like her in that way.

I do not, AT ALL, believe that one race (any race) is better than any other. I understand that blacks (and many other races) have suffered a great deal under whites in many countries and for that I want to apologize, although even this is a tricky area… do you want our apologies?

I want to support in whatever way is accepted by you. Do you want to hear heartfelt “sorrys”? How would you like to see our support? Can we as white individuals use hashtags like #blacklivesmatter? Should we? Or are we better off joining you at rallies but just as quite background support… strength in numbers type thing? Or is it cool for us to be speaking out against it, full force if we have a platform too? What do you, as the black community, want to see from the white community who want to support you? Will you allow us to stand with you? Or is it too painful and offensive still?

I’m asking these questions because more than anything I don’t want to be ignorant. I would like to be supportive in whatever way you will allow, and require, instead of just barging in and doing what I think is best, because that can lead to even more separation.

So… please? Do you want us white people to just back off and let you fight your fight? Or would you allow those of us who truly want to stand with you, do so?

I’m honestly wanting to know to understand all your feelings and viewpoints. I just want to steer clear of becoming like my mother.

So please, I’m asking for your input.

*After note*
Also I’m aware this doesn’t make a difference, because racism can exist anywhere unfortunately, but for those of you unfamiliar with me and my story… No I do not live in America. I’m from Canada. But I can definitively say I do not support Trump or most politicians for that matter. At this point I’m quite aware that the majority are placed there for the masses to choose from so they feel like they have a choice, but in reality, all are moulded by central banks and the upper echelons to keep the rich rich and really not many truly care for ‘the little person’. But… that’s my own ‘humble’ opinion. To each their own.


-Black Eyed Peas/Where Is The Love-