Tag Archives: racism

Teach Your Children

I haven’t done a post with this title yet? Good. Because today, it just fits.

If you’ve been hanging out on the internet lately, you may have noticed that there appears to be a significant segment of the U.S. population that still, consciously or unconsciously, supports racism. You don’t even have to read a Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman story to see it. You could take a look at the people who think that Marc Anthony (a born-in-the-USA American citizen of Puerto Rican descent) is not fit to sing “God Bless America” at a sporting event.

It’s horrible. And it’s not always that overt. Sometimes it’s just, as President Obama described, being followed in a department store, or crossing the street and hearing car door locks snap down, or seeing a white woman become nervous because you’re there.

But why are people still acting this way in 2013? They had to learn it somewhere, and I would guess that in most cases it begins with the parents or other primary caregivers. And I would guess that this is true about other forms of bigotry as well: religious bigotry, homophobia, and sexism for instance. And about violence — bullying, gun violence, gang violence, violence against women, even, perhaps, war.

So, parents and other adults, if we want things to change, it’s at least partly up to us. We have to be the ones to teach our children that bigotry and violence are wrong. We have to tell them, and model for them as best we can, that people are people no matter what color they are, and no matter what language they speak. We must teach them that it’s not OK to shoot or beat up other people, and that it’s not cool or funny to rape.

We also have to admit that we are not perfect at this. I know I am not. I sometimes react to people who look different, even if I keep that reaction inside. I’m not proud of it. I want to do better, and I want my children to do better. That’s something the President addressed, too — he said that Malia and Sasha and their friends are much better at not being racist than we are. I think my kids probably are, too. But what about the rest of the country? Obviously there are families and places where kids simply aren’t learning these things. Will it just take longer there? Maybe.

But you, the one reading this. I know you’re probably more likely to agree with me anyway, but let’s do what we can! If you haven’t directly talked with your kids about bigotry and violence, do it! Make sure they know that this is not the way to live. And then live the example with them.


A Frugal Meal for a Better World

Can a meal save the world?  Or at least my sanity?  I just put a hearty soup on the stove for my family, which did make me feel a little better.

“Feeling glum, disgruntled, and snarky. Watch out,” I tweeted late this afternoon.  Why so glum?

Well, there was this over at George Fox University, here in Oregon.  It wasn’t so much the actual incident involving racial slurs as much as the comments on the article.  Too many of them were ignorant and/or hateful, and left me feeling less hope for the future of our country.

And then there’s the general state of the economy, and the prospect of a $700 billion Wall Street bailout and/or a full-blown depression.

McCain wants us to think that he thinks this is so important that he and Obama should suspend their debate to resolve the issue.  What, Congress can’t handle this one without them?  And they can’t do anything long-distance?

And then there was this, from Democracy Now!, letting us know that a military unit, for the first time ever, is officially being deployed to keep the peace here at home in case of civil unrest.  They start October 1.  There’s also a detailed article on Salon.com.

No wonder I’m depressed!

Depression or not, the family still needs to be fed.  I was off early today, and we have no evening activity, so I had time to put together a nice lentil soup.

I don’t know whether it was the physical act of chopping and sauteing vegetables that helped, or whether it just feels good to be able to provide a good meal for my family despite all of the bad news.  Lentils, carrots, onions, a few herbs, and we’re set!  Frugal and sustainable.  If necessary, we could probably even grow our own lentils!  I know they sprout and grow easily, although I’ve never tried actually growing and harvesting the beans.

So, even if everything does go to h— in a handbasket, we can make it.

Now I’m going to see what the dude in the White House has to say to us.