April 22, 2010

Lead by Example

Late yesterday I noticed something on my sister-in-law's Facebook. It was something I took offense to - and not in the way I think they think. Basically a picture was posted and the caption was quite stereotypical toward one race. This wasn't the first time she's joked around about stereotypes (ALWAYS toward black people). And while I haven't said anything to them directly in the past, I'm done holding my tongue now.

I'm not black, but my husband is and my daughter, therefore, is half black. I'll be damned if I'm going to sit by and let my own family spew such ignorance. So I commented, basically stating what I just said and asking that they not get defensive but rather just move on and try not posting such comments in the future where I can see.

Of course that didn't go over well. I'm not sure what the fuck I was thinking. No, actually I do know what I was thinking. I was thinking about Lovie, like I always do. I was thinking that it's a fucking shame that in 2010, with a 1/2 black President, my own fucking family can't stop with the damn stereotypes. I was thinking that I need to come up with a plan - already - as to what to teach Lovie when it comes to racism and how to handle it. I was thinking that it's fucking RIDICULOUS that I have to think about this when she's not even 4 months old!

No, my SIL didn't use the "N word". No, she didn't come right and say something derogatory toward black people. But the innuendo was there and frankly I've put up with three years (that's how long they've been married) of their utter bullshit.

So after picking up Lovie from daycare (thanks for the big smiles baby doll) and getting home, I commented on the picture and then I closed out of the computer and played with Lovie, fed her, gave her a bath, and put her to bed.

My time is her time. My life is hers.

After Lovie was asleep and after eating some dinner I tried watching American Idol but ended up falling asleep. It was barely 8. I decided to just go ahead and go to bed but had to go to the bathroom first. So whilst sitting on the pot, I checked Facebook (stupid fangled technology allowing me to go online using my cell phone!) and saw the responses from my ignorant, white trash family (just my SIL and brother- I shouldn't say 'family' and insinuate that *all* my family is as ignorant as those two are).

I got pissed. I wanted to respond for them to actually READ what I wrote as I didn't see how Lovie being beautiful has a fucking thing to do with their stereotypes not affecting her. She's 1/2 black. If you're fucking throwing negative innuendos out there toward one specific race then guess what? Whether a person be cute or talented or rich or only 1/2 of that race makes no difference! You're still talking about them! DUMB FUCKING MORONS!

Needless to say I didn't sleep well. I was steaming. I tried not thinking about it but I just couldn't let it go. I kept thinking of my rebuttal.

Then the husband came to bed at 130am and Lovie started to cry at 2am. So I was awake. And I wanted to go on Facebook but I didn't. I just laid on the couch outside Lovie's room stewing. She started fussing again at 330 and when I went in to give her a binky, she looked at me.

The trust this innocent life has in me is just so incredible.

I gave her a binky and shhhh'd softly as my hand rested on her little chest and my finger stroked her soft cheek.

She just looked at me with those big beautiful brown eyes. Her hands wrapped around my hand and held me there as she sucked away on her Binky.

I nearly cried through my smile.

I love this little being so much. It's just all so incredible.

I do believe I would actually kill for her, which is kind of scary to think about.

I just want to protect her and hold her, but at the same time, I want her to see the world and all the beauty that does exist... like the big open sky and the leaves on the trees which she watches every morning as we walk to the car.

And that's all that matters when it comes down to it: Lovie... and her happiness and her innocence and her trust and her everything.

I cannot change anyone. I can only change myself. I can only be sure to represent someone that I hope Lovie will become one day. No, I don't want her to be me... but I want her to be a good, caring, loving, respectable, open-minded, giving, honorable person. So I need to be this person. I feel I am generally this person but I can't let anger and other people's ignorance get to me because I don't want it to get to Lovie when she's older.

Lead by example.

All that said, I decided to let it go and ignore my SIL and my brother's comments. Clearly nothing I say or do will change what they think, say, or do. That's all on them now.

(Ironic thing to this posts' ending, which wasn't planned and just happened - gotta love the written word at times, eh? - the picture that my SIL posted was of her teen son and the caption that got under my skin was his words apparently and she was just being "proud" - her words, not mine - of him. LEAD BY EXAMPLE, PEOPLE.)

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