3.03.2011

POC, End the Child Abuse

Some white people think that if white parents teach their kids white supremacy, it's a form of child abuse.  I think that when POC exclude or are unkind to mixed children in any way, it too is a form of child abuse.
Radmilla Cody
I grew up having to deal with racism and prejudices on both the Navajo and the black sides, and when I ran for Miss Navajo Nation, that especially brought out a lot of curiosity in people. It’s something that we’re still having to address as black Natives, still having to prove ourselves in some way or another, because at the end of the day, it all falls back to what people think a Native American should look like.

Crystal Kay, Japanese singer
of Black & Korean mix
I interviewed two girls who were half African American, whose mothers were from Japan, who'd lived in Japan, who spoke Japanese beautifully...They had a deeper sense of the culture than most of the 'pure' Japanese candidates. And yet they didn't win, and they felt there was unquestionably discrimination against them. In the Los Angeles Cherry Blossom pageant, there's actually a no-tanning rule -- you have to stay out of the sun. And the reason they give is that dark skin doesn't look good with a kimono.
Needless to say, we need to cut this ish out.

They're OUR children

Children don't show up on your doorstep one day out of the blue.  They're made.  We make them.  Every child on this planet came into being because someone at some point made a choice.  And while you may disagree with someone else's choice, you cannot take your ire out on the child.

First of all, picking on a child is just low.  When a bunch of kids form a pack against a single child that's already low, but when an adult goes after a baby, that's downright pathetic.  When kids tell a kid, "You can't play", it's awful enough.  But when grown-ups pull that ish, it's just plain sadistic.

They're our children.  They're all our children.  They're our future.  They're our most valuable resource.  We can't afford to leave any of them behind, and unity is the only way a species can survive.

POC should know better

...especially those of us living in the West.  It is understandable to want to preserve your culture.  In the case of Native Americans, it is perfectly understandable to resent the invasion of your lands.  Indigenous peoples everywhere feel you on that.  However, POC need to remember that their suffering isn't singular.  Africans weren't the only ones enslaved or colonized.  Native Americans weren't the only ones who had their lands seized and their people slaughtered.  Asians weren't the only ones who experienced these horrors either.  And POC have to be stay honest and admit to the harm we have done to ourselves and to fellow POC.

So we of all people should know the lasting devastation you inflict by harassing a even a fully grown adult about their color.  A Latina I used to work with told me of the scorn and verbal abuse she endured at the hands of her white relatives and 'til today, even as an adult, she has recurring nightmares about her childhood ordeal.

That's what you're doing when you treat someone this way.

End the abuse

When you go after a child for being born mixed - which according to geneticists is usually the best type of child anyway - you're not only committing racism, but child abuse as well.  You are dehumanizing and degrading a kid.  To harm a child in any way is perhaps the utmost human sin.  It's the absolute lowest a human can go.  It's the reason why child molesters are universally reviled and often murdered in prison.

There's no excuse for it, not even ignorance.  Humans are born with the instinct to protect children, regardless of their parentage.  Those who deliberately ignore this instinct are basically ignoring their conscience, the defining trait of humanity.

People don't have to agree with racial mixing, but they do need to just go ahead and accept it.  It's not going anywhere.  It's simply increasing, as it should, and our descendants will accomplish great and wondrous things because of it.  It is the natural order of things.  To step in try to prevent it with segregation, holocausts, and all-out genocide is not the natural order things...in case anyone is getting any ideas.

14 comments:

  1. I read what Radmilla went through and I found it sad, but I could not understand how some Natives try to deny the African heritage, when Africans were marrying and trading with them long before the white man even knew their land existed. Good post.

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  2. Great post as usual, you really put things into perspective for me...kids can be very cruel even if they are the same race or ethnicity (I'm sure you know of the color complex within the black community as well as other communities)and adults with those kind of attitudes are nothing more than big ignorant kids that never grew up

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  3. Good point raised. We also need to bring this to the attention of those who overly praise mixed or light-skinned children over (often their own) non-mixed offspring. That also helps feed the hatred of mixed-race people to another generation.

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  4. Every child on this planet came into being because someone at some point made a choice. And while you may disagree with someone else's choice, you cannot take your ire out on the child.

    Damn straight! There's nothing more to add.

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  5. I identify with Radmilla, after the whole Cherokee - Freedman fiasco I've become disillusioned with my tribe. POC need to step up. Lets all go listen to "Black Happiness".

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  6. @GoddessMaverick

    the whole Cherokee - Freedman fiasco

    In the very near future, I was planning to write a few posts about this issue; however, if you'd like to share it with the others, please do. Your perspective would give this issue far more legitimacy.

    I love Radmilla's music and it's great that she's gotten her act together.

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  7. @ Hateya

    Sure. I'll scrape up a post. Its Drama Drama Drama.

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  8. @GoddessMaverick

    My favorite part was when Obama got dragged into it although I don't yet know how he voted when he was a member of the Black Caucus. Not that it matters now. He's the president of our entire shared nation. In all seriousness, sovereignty, whether real or imagined, is a double-edged sword.

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  9. I remembered reading Radmilla Cody's story in Jet magazine.

    It's not that I'm unsympathetic about them or their cause but too often, when it comes to mixed raced people like Radmilla, being it is more about about the race of them than the actual culture itself. If race wasn't the case, it shouldn't be a non-issue with her or any other mixed race Native American.

    Secondly, in many cultures, being "pure" isn't always impartial.You can have two mixed race women, one with White parentage, the other with Black parentage.Though you may find many cultures that may be opposed to race mixing, you will find some who will be more willing to tolerate a mixed race person that is half/part White,but not if they are half/part Black.

    It just seem that in spite of some people being POC's,(In this case, Navajos) some have forgotten where they came from.Years ago, Blacks, sympathetic Whites, Native Americans, Jews etc, unified for a common cause for civil rights. Now that we got a little leeway in our lives, we can careless about it.

    Radmilla has nothing to be ashamed about. Her Navajo critics may worry about her "contaminating" their bloodlines but they don't need her to do it. Many Native American communities have, and continue to struggle with internal issues that have plagued their communities for generations. Even worse, the racial superiority complex will also destroy them. Radmilla's critics don't realize that that kind of kind of thinking doesn't truly empower them, especially if the cause is one sided( e.g "White privilege").-M

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  10. I was going to say something similar to what M said above. Some POC communities are more accepting of offspring with white ancestry. The double standard is obvious and disgusting.

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  11. @M and Modest-Goddess

    you will find some who will be more willing to tolerate a mixed race person that is half/part White,but not if they are half/part Black.

    *disgusted* Furthermore, if you're Black and you claim your indigenous heritage in any way, shape or form, people immediately believe you're denying your Black self rather than embracing all of who you are. If a "white" person makes the same declaration, it's cool or exotic or worth celebrating. Everyone wants to hear all about it.

    It just seem that in spite of some people being POC's,(In this case, Navajos) some have forgotten where they came from.

    Only part of this is self-induced amnesia. The other part stems from a more sinister origin. We all know where, right? After my current series is over, I'm going to work on some Black/Native American relations beginning with a movie and then documenting how our peoples came together and then how we were divided and why.

    If anyone out there would like to write a series about this as well, contact Ankhesen.

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  12. "Disgusting" is the perfect word here, considering all the house Negro implications.

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  13. I would have to agree.

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  14. It's time to stop needing the approval of others. We are each born on this planet unique unto ourselves. Live fierce and free in accordance with your own heart and look past the fears of others. Their fears are not your concern for they will persist long after you are a memory. Be bold in your choice of who your heart picks. Who your eyes see beauty in.That is what truly matters. Leave behind those who do not think as you do and embrace those whose heart sing the same song as your heart. You aren't living if you only worry "Why don't they accept me." They don't accept you because they fear your existence means the end of their culture. The change that could wipe out who they are. You weren't meant to fit into their culture. You and those like you are your own culture. Discover it and enjoy it.

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