Top Menu

Does it matter?

So I don’t know what to think. George Zimmerman has been found not guilty.

I don’t write a lot about news events and these types of things, but this one hits a little close to home. See, I have two black babies. And everything in me wants to think this isn’t a race issue. Everything in me wants to think that it was a proper trial and wouldn’t have been different if it were a white boy that had been shot.

Now I’m not going to talk about whether or not this was a proper trial. I didn’t follow it close enough to really weigh in on that. It just brings the issue of race that makes me think about some things.

I don’t want to make mountains out of molehills. I don’t want to make race an issue when it’s not. I want my boys to grow up confident in who they are, not seeing color. I want them to see people. Beautiful people that are God’s wonderful creation. I don’t want their first judgement to be the color of their skin or hair or eyes.

IMG_4443

See, tonight we had a party for my Grandpa. He turned 88 years old. And all his grand kids stood around him to take a picture. I leaned over to my cousin and said “Who would have thought 30 years ago Grandpa would have a black man in his family pictures?” Who would have thought? He grew up in a different time than we did, he had different thoughts about race. But I am so proud to say that to this day my Grandpa fully accepts and loves my husband and kids. Even though it’s not something I fully understand, I am so grateful he has progressed that far.

IMG_4454

So we are making progress, right? We are moving forward a little bit, aren’t we? Then something like this throws a wrench in things.

This makes me so mad, actually. SO MAD. Because some people will never have to deal with race. Some will never have to think twice about how your kids are treated because of their color. Some will never have to consider talking to your kids about these problems. It’s hard to see the other side of the coin. Gosh, it’s so frustrating.

And it’s fine that they might never see it. It’s fine that they have a white family. It’s fine because that’s beautiful too. Just at least try to be sensitive to the people that do have to face these things.

I think that sometimes it might be good intentions. It might be that they don’t want to see racism because they aren’t racist so they just default that way. But that’s also part of the problem. I would LOVE to not see race. I would LOVE to act like no one out there is racist. I would LOVE to pretend like everyone that sees my boys thinks they’re beautiful.

But we still don’t live in that world. We’re closer, that’s for sure. We’ve made lots of progress, that’s for sure. But we’re not there. White people, you can’t pretend. You have to be sensitive to the fact that there are a ton of people out there still fighting for their rights. Still fighting to be seen the same as you. To have the same opportunities as you.

So to those people – what if it were your son? What if your son got shot 70 yards from his house? And there’s no one to answer for it? No one to say sorry to your family? No punishment, no one held responsible? You would be singing quite the different tune, I think.

Quite the rant, I know. But it hurts my heart to live in this world. It hurts my heart to see this crap go on. It hurts my heart that I have to make my babies aware someday of how they should be more than above reproach because there is no slack given to them due to their race. They are not starting at equal opportunity. One look at them sets them back a step.

I don’t have any answers. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know how to make it easier for families that are effected by this stuff more than I am. I wish I could make it easier, make it better.

I guess I just want to encourage you all to each day make a conscience effort to see people in God’s beautiful light. In the way He created people. He’s so creative you guys! He created beauty in red and yellow, black and white. He sees NO COLOR. He sees no imperfections. He sees His beauty, His creation, His wonderful work.

Can we try to see each other this way? Let’s make this world a better place, one person at a time.

34 Responses to Does it matter?

  1. Natalie July 14, 2013 at 4:28 am #

    When I saw my Twitter and FB feed last night…. it was like the shit hit the fan. Everyone is mad. Like an insane amount too! Majority of my FB friends are white too!

    Is it bad to say that I knew he was going to get off and found not guilty because I KNEW it was all about race?! I mean, I knew it. That’s why I didn’t watch the trial. I watched Jodi Arias, and I watched Casey Anthony. But this one… no. I just automatically knew that he would be found not guilty and acquitted of all charges. And that is so sad.

    It sounds like to me, that your white “friends” who are saying that, are NOT your friends at all and they are racist (in some way or the other) and you should probably re-think bringing any of them around your little family.

    Racism is so stupid. We are all as one. My cousin is black. My best guy friend is black. My niece is black. It will never be separated like it was back in the day. So why don’t people just shut up and get over it already!!

    Your post was beautiful. And so is your family xoxo.

    P.S. I live in Southwest Florida. About an hour from them. We should expect some riots soon. In my area as well. :/

    • Natalia July 14, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

      Thank you so much! It is such a beautiful world when we all come together, isn’t it? And so many people have so many amazing things to offer, when we just look at color, whatever color that is, we miss out on so much! It is ridiculous. It is stupid. It makes me mad from time to time. But a lot of people, like my ‘friend’ on FB just need to be educated. I wouldn’t say they’re necessarily racist, but the are ignorant that’s for sure. I don’t know if they’ll read this, but if they do, I hope they rethink they way they talk about things.

      Thankfully, my husband is absolutely amazing and doens’t let this crap get to him most of the time. He was a little ticked about the trial, but moved on with his life. He also has talked in person with my ‘friend’ about this and it’s no skin off his back. Which I think he good, he doens’t play the reverse race card with also sucked. Let’s all just get along!?!

  2. Toni July 14, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    I think the reason this has got everyone up in arms is because often racist behavior is is portrayed as one sided when in fact it is a two sided issue. Yes there are many people with white skin that make snap judgments based on someones skin color. There are just as many people with black skin that make judgments based on someones skin color. My parents raised me to be color blind πŸ™‚ I can look at anyone of any race and see beauty. I can also find goodness, and kindness in most of the people I meet regardless of their skin tone. Now that I have kids though I realize all the forethought that had to go into this. They exposed us to many people from many backgrounds & treated them all with respect and friendliness. I think the reason people have racist attitudes is because they don’t take the time to get to know people. It’s hard to hate someone when you know them. It’s fear driven. Mixing a little more with people of all ethnic backgrounds would stop most of it. However our cities have “black” communities & “white” communities, as well as Italian, Greek, Chinese, ect… Even in our schools kids tend to group like, with like. Stopping this takes forethought and planning.

    I tried not to follow the Zimmerman trial more then could be avoided because it was so polarizing. Everyone was feeling mistreated by everyone else. No matter which side of the race debate they were on. I will say that although I have never treated anyone badly based on their skin color, I have been treated badly based on mine & I’m very light skinned. In my life it has been me that has been unfairly judged by people of black or Hispanic (lots of Hispanic’s in this area) decent just because I’m white. Racism works both way’s. It will take people on both sides that are willing to cross the cultural & color boundaries that we have set for ourselves as a society and in our personal lives.

    • Natalia July 14, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      Oh I entirely agree. I think there is racism both ways for sure. The only difference is that white people never had to go through what black people did. They were never slaves, never beat, never bought or sold. It was truly horrific what they went through and we’re only a good 50 years out of that. Black people are just trying to catch up. So we, as white people, have a step up, a step ahead, like it or not. I would like to say this isn’t true. I would love to act like people will always treat my babies equally. But the truth is that they will be judged from time to time on their color. I also will be absolutely certain to teach my boys not to blame race as an issue, whether it is or not. I want them to own up to their responsibilities and grow up to be secure in themselves.

      I think it’s great you don’t see race. I think it’s great you never judge. Keep it up and spread the word with love, we need more people like that!

      • Jessica July 14, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

        Natalia — Generally, I love you and every little thing you post. But seriously? “The only difference is that white people never had to go through what black people did. They were never slaves, never beat, never bought or sold.” In actuality, there were hundreds of thousands of white slaves from Ireland alone. I’m not about to give a history lesson, but feel free to Google the topic. (BTW — I’m also in a biracial marriage with a biracial family so rest assured that I’m not one of those “white people” who are “pretending” racism doesn’t exist.)

        • Natalia July 15, 2013 at 11:09 am #

          I googled it. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I never want to come across like I know it all or have it all together and will be the first to say I’m wrong or need work. I guess, or at least from the article I read, that it’s not as widely known because it’s deeper in history and was done more in England than here. It doesn’t excuse it or make it less of a horror and still should known about. I guess what I was trying to say is that in America, just as short as 50 or so years ago black people weren’t allowed the same rights as whites. So we’re just coming out of the horrific experiences of this version of racism as opposed to the Irish slavery ending in the mid-1800’s (from the article I read). So in America, it’s seems black people are still playing catch up for equal opportunities and not having people see them differently. Sorry to offend you, it’s not my intent at all. But thank you for bringing this to my attention.

  3. Christina @ Christina's Adventures July 14, 2013 at 5:31 am #

    ooooh Natalia – I am such a conflict-avoider, and I HATE “getting into” these things with people, but I had to share this post on my personal FB page. THANKS for being honest and sharing your heart – my heart is breaking for you and everyone that has to deal with race every day. Just when I think we’re taking a few steps ahead…something like this happens and I feel so discouraged. I love your beautiful family!! Thanks for writing such honest thoughts – my heart is so heavy this morning πŸ™

    • Natalia July 14, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

      Thank you for your comment & for sharing. I appreciate that your heart is heavy for ‘us’ this morning, but seriously, it’s okay. I mean, God gave me a black husband & bi-racial kids. He knew that with His help I could do it. And although I don’t like that things aren’t equal, I feel partly responsible to sort of ‘educate’ the world on issues like that. It would be so easy to just ignore it all, you know? Act like racism wasn’t out there. Unfortunately, we can’t. But with people out there willing to love and accept others the way God created them, we will make steps forward. But it will never be right because we live in a fallen world. We can only try to make progress. I truly appreciate your heart though, really. It means so much when people that don’t understand the situation (because they’re not in it) reach out in love. It really helps! πŸ™‚

  4. Corynn F. July 14, 2013 at 6:40 am #

    So well said! I don’t truly have an opinion on either side but you presented a great perspective without being harsh…Thank you!

    • Natalia July 14, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

      Thank you for your comment! I didn’t want to come across angry or arguing about the case, but just to present a side people might not have thought of. I don’t know enough about the ins & outs of the case to really weigh in there, in fact, I don’t think anyone does. It’s just something we all should think about.

  5. Tamara @ The Workout Mama July 14, 2013 at 6:51 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart! I was surprised that the verdict came back as it did. Your boys are lucky to have you and your husband as parents to guide them as they grow. This life is certainly a crazy one. Praying for Gods protection over your sweet babies :). Love ya girl!

    • Natalia July 14, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

      Thank you so much! I feel like any good in my children’s lives is from the Lord. We are all imperfect people trying to raise imperfect children in a crazy imperfect world. Thankfully, God is ultimately in control, not me. I can only do my best & give him the rest!

  6. Alison @ Get Your Pretty On July 14, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    Natalia – I could’ve written this post myself. My 17 year-old son is bi-racial. For years, my husband (his stepfather) and I have had to change perceptions of teachers (and others) who want to assume things about him that just aren’t true. I live in the south in a nice middle class, mostly white neighborhood. Just two days ago some women in my neighborhood moms’ group were posting pictures on Facebook of two nicely dressed middle eastern men who were going door to door with a clipboard, saying they looked “suspicious”. Those women scare me. I pray for minds to change, for people to be more accepting. I’m a little more cautious with him, telling him to be as respectful of others as possible, to not incite anything. I feel like the rules have to be a little different for him. This verdict scares me even more. We live in a time where things have drastically changed, but unfortunately some have stayed the same. Would this have touched me as much if my son weren’t bi-racial? Sadly, probably not. It will take many more years of progress for true equality. But it feels good to in some small way, be a part of achieving that.

    • Natalia July 14, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

      The verdict scared me too. My husband has to remind me that people don’t think the same way I do. I see interracial couples & families or even just other races, and am intrigued. I want to talk to them, to know them, to be friends. I am learning so many people, grow people, are scared of my husband and can’t even approach him because he’s big, black, and intimidating. It’s such a shame because he’s truly an amazing man. I also think it’s a fine line teaching our kids. We need to teach them to be aware, but then also I don’t want to give them the opportunity to think it’s okay to blame race. I want them to take responsibility for their actions & own up to things, not just throw things on being a ‘race issue.’ Fine line, but hopefully, prayerfully, we will work that way! Thanks for your comment, it’s nice to know you’re not the only one!

  7. Helen July 14, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    So beautiful Natalia. You have been given a wonderful perspective on this situation, and I think that will only aid you in encouraging others to see more than just colour.
    I was shocked that Zimmerman got off, and I agree that this is a race issue.
    As you say, we are all God’s people. He doesn’t discriminate, so what gives us the right too?

    • Natalia July 14, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

      It’s so true and so sad. But we live in a fallen world and as another commenter said – there are forces at work here beyond our control. What we can do is control ourselves and how we treat others. Hopefully this will have a positive effect. Thanks for your comment!

  8. Phinithi July 14, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    Hi again

    I saw it on the news here in SA. It’s really sad.

    It’s one issue of race I tried to address in my WIP, but took the biblical route. Being black and having experienced (and still do) it first hand it’s more about shifting the paradigm. Christ knowing EVERYTHING, the Divine Programme, laid out for Him to carry out didn’t make His path easier to travel, but the foresight served as an assurance.

    Yes, we’ve made lotta progress but we should bear in mind that we live in the world where much BIGGER forces beyond our reach are responsible for both the good and the ugly. When Christ arrived on the scene, Jews and Samaritans could not stand each other. He didn’t try to get ’em to get along but taught His group and followers how to treat each other. [enemies will be friends]. That’s a group willing to follow Him. The rest have what they believe are facts and sound rationale as to why they act they way they do.

    I know that I now seem to have missed the point: it’s about making sure that our courts hold those guilty accountable; the legislation and so on. What I’m having difficulty articulating is this – I don’t seethe with anger and frustration (though it’s justifiable and it’s the only way our voices make a lasting impact when we protest) at racism, terrorism etc. A switch sorta went on in my head, an epiphany if you like, whilst thinking and just asking myself “but God why” and I now undertand why Christ in pain forgave, or called the one who slapped Him “friend”. Or why Stephen prayed for those stoning him whilst getting stoned. He (God) who subjected us to these trials has a price that makes it immeasurably worth it for the meek (without that meekness we’ll go crazy or throw our hands in the air at him). Again, this knowledge doesn’t make it any easier but…you know.

    I sorta feel pity more than anything for the blind.

    • Natalia July 14, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

      This is an amazing excellent point. I totally agree. You are so right. And we are called to be more Christ-like while here on this earth. I don’t want to judge these people, I want to help educate. Because a lot of the time it’s not even racism, it’s just pure they have no clue! When you grow up in a white world and experience nothing outside of that, how can you know? I don’t want to excuse it, but help educate these people. The world will never be ‘fixed’ but you’re so right that there are forces out there beyond our control. We can only cling to what we know is right, the Word of God, and do our best from there. Thank you for your comment!

  9. Gina_AcuteDesigns July 14, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    SO well said! I think it is sad and terrible that Zimmerman was found not guilty. He killed someone! I am shocked. I also hate the way it has become political…..like everything else in this country.

    • Natalia July 14, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

      Me too. I hate politics just for the reason. Why do we have to hate each other if we disagree? Why can’t we just have different opinions without calling the other person stupid? Anyway, don’t get me started on that! It’s really a shame though, praying for Trayvon’s family for sure.

  10. christina July 14, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    great post! I didn’t follow the trial really, but I am certainly baffled by it…

    I’m kind of racist the other direction if anything – I do view black and Hispanic people differently – I view them as cooler than me. I will also admit that I tend to have a problem with classism… certain types/groups of people that I tend to automatically view as less intelligent, backwards, etc. – but they are all white. I’m not proud of it… and I’m asking God to change that in my heart. what you say about His creation is so very true.

    • Natalia July 15, 2013 at 11:12 am #

      It’s all about trying to move forward. We live in a fallen world and we are fallen people. He knows we’re but dust. So just doing our best to move on from there, you know?

  11. Phinithi July 15, 2013 at 6:35 am #

    Thank you!

    It’s all ephemeral. A nightmare has realism to it that lingers even after, but when you do wake up Oh what a relief!

    South Africa loves you America!

    • Natalia July 15, 2013 at 11:11 am #

      Well, let’s hope we all wake up soon!

  12. Olivia July 15, 2013 at 6:52 am #

    I follow your blog but I don’t normally like to comment but after reading this this morning I had to tell you that I loved the way you put this…you really see both worlds! Really proud of you for writing this…=) keep up the good work.

    • Natalia July 15, 2013 at 10:55 am #

      Wow, thank you so much for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it! It’s a tough thing, and most of the time I think people mean well. But to move forward, people have to try to change. I just hope to help educate in some way. Thanks again, I love hearing from people!

  13. Pomereta July 15, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    Don’t know if I really should comment or not. Its obvious that I will never totally understand your annoyance, fear and frustation (if we have kids they won’t suffer because their race or religion) but is sad that these things still keep happening and I don’t get why the legal systems fails to punish an individual who killed another one, a life is a life. What breaks my heart is the concern of a mum and dad that have to explain their children that there are people out there ready to judge and harm them because of the color of their skin…Call me naive, but I firmly believe that families like yours are the ones making the difference and changing the way the rest of us see the world. Thanks for sharing and reminding us what its really important.

    • Natalia July 15, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      Thank you! It’s all a shame, but it’s the world we live in. I don’t want to talk to my kids about race, and I won’t make their life about race. I want them to be good, respectful people who are above reproach. Because I would want that no matter what, but it’s more important being black. As of now, my kids don’t see color. The just see people and enjoy everyone. I hope it stays that way!

  14. Vanessa July 15, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    I’m so glad you wrote about this. I have been camping off the grid and only catching up on the news this morning, so I felt kind of at sea when I saw all of the crazy “Justice” fb posts and racial related updates. I thought WTF? Why is everyone so obsessed with race today?

    Oh, yeah.

    My partner is black, and I… kind of look like you. Pale, brunette, tall. He and I have talked about having kids, even though we aren’t there yet (we’re the same age as you guys), and in those conversations, I asked him a ton of questions about growing up black in America, what it’s like to be a black man here now. His answers shocked me. Not about racism in the 70s and 80s, but about everyday dangers and stresses due to it now. We live in the most highly educated city in America, Seattle, and I equate racism so strongly with ignorance and under-education (my own wishing, as in “education can solve it”), that I am surprised when we encounter it here. But yes, he’s always scoping out people in public, in bars, restaurants, on hiking trails, checking their responses to see how they react to us, an interracial couple. He expects hostility, because that has so many times, for so long in his life, been the reality. It’s not something I could have understood before, not something I fully understand now. So when our white-white friends say stuff about the Trayvon Martin ruling (because he is the one this trial SHOULD have been about, not the m an who killed him, which is not disputed, but the kid who was so senselessly taken away), I have to turn away. They DON’T understand. They can’t.

    But I do wish they at least understood that they can’t understand.

    And yes, I hope it’s because they aren’t racist, so they don’t see it in other people, and not just that they have no empathy.

    • Natalia July 15, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

      I do think it’s the latter, I really do. I mean, of course there are people out there that are blatently racist, but most people just don’t understand. I don’t know about you, but I think about myself before I was with and married my husband & I was pretty ignorant. I was probably a little thoughtless about what other’s go through. In fact, I probably still am when I don’t understand something, you know? I am really working on it, because I know how it feels, but I guess that’s all we can do. Just try to help these people understand & with love move on. If that makes sense. I would want someone to be gracious to me if I was being ignorant or thoughtless about something. I would also want them to help educate me as well. I hope that’s the way my post came across! And being in an interracial relationship definitely opens up your eyes. It’s helped me learn a lot, that’s for sure!

  15. Phinithi (S. African) July 19, 2013 at 7:42 am #

    @Christina,

    Black as I am, from the continent grappling catching up economically and otherwise, we too have that classicism aspect in our society: blacks of certain ilk don’t want to be associated with the ‘backward’ lot. This takes place within the church as well.

    While watching TV with some of my family members, you should hear us/me ignorantly and absent-mindedly making sweeping generalizations about Caucasian race. But, this lil ignorant habits do not fester into ignorant racial bile. Trust me, no amount of praying will wean you from what your intelligence is able to gather from observation. You hear even in the Epistles where St Paul reprimand certain “cultural groups” on their patent slothfullness. Yet, he saw himself beneath them ALL serving them like a slave, realizing:

    “…but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

    “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.”

    Essentially, my IQ (or the lack thereabouts), Blackness (along with its pride), and anything else in between of this world don’t add anything of value to the actual man beyond the grave – think the story of the rich man beyond the grave…would could say he had a fair skin, superb IQ, good head above his shoulders etc BUT was POOR in spirit.

    β€œThe single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”
    ― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    You should read the whole article from which this quote was lifted. Being a minority she also came to the realization that she too has to own up to some ignorant skeletons in the closet.

    Ok. Enough preaching for now Phinithi. Ahem. Phew…

  16. Ellie {Musing Momma} July 29, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    As a fellow momma to 2 biracial boys, I can totally relate. My hope is that as moms, bloggers, friends, etc. we can help others start to understand and empathize. Our blogs serve as powerful platforms, because there are readers who already see us as “familiar” and respect us, and are willing to listen to what we have to say. As a white woman, most of my friends are white (I need more diversity in my social circle, I know!). Many (but by no means all) of my blog readers are white. And I have wonderful opportunity to help open their eyes and help them understand simply, because they are already listening. I think we are part of the bridge, part of the movement forward. Your grandfather’s shifting attitudes are a great example of that!

    • Natalia August 1, 2013 at 10:35 am #

      I totally agree! Which is why I chose to write about it from time to time. I want to help people understand and like you said – bridge the gap. Even when people aren’t ‘racist’ it’s just ignorance, a misunderstanding you know? Anyway, glad to have met you, thanks for commenting!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. I love it when you call me Big Poppa | Ma Nouvelle Mode - July 15, 2013

    […] it’s kinda funny to go from a heavy post like yesterday’s to something fun & yummy today, but hey, that’s how I roll. And sorry, I couldn’t […]

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

Beauty
Family
Fashion
Life{Style}