A mother has the power to single-handedly dismantle racism from the world offspring by offspring. Racism starts at home folks, therefore racism is most likely to come from the mother.
Yep I said it, mothers are responsible for a lot of hate in the world. Harsh but true. But as the great guru Sadhguru once said, “How the world will be tomorrow will be determined by what kind of mothers you have today.”
Just look at Mary Anne MacLeod Trump. She clearly did a shit job raising Donald. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree mamasitas. We better check ourselves.
IN IT TOGETHER
No matter how rich, happy, organised and robust you are, motherhood will knock you out at some point and drag your vagina down with you. In the beginning, motherhood very quickly strips you of your ego. When you end up with baby poo under your shellac nails, motherhood brings you right back down to earth, like a bitch slap. Motherhood will have the meanest psychopath rich bitch crying at the sight of starving children in a fundraising advert. It will have her dialling up Red Cross and donating all her botox spending money to 6-year-old David of the Congo.
Watching those kids in cages at the Mexican borders had mothers crying in unison across the planet. We all felt the pain of those families. Well apart from Melania whose visit to the detention centers was as ridiculous as Eva Braun popping round to a concentration camp for a cup of tea.
Becoming a new mum is one of the best ways to relate to another human no matter what background. I’ve connected on parenthood with randoms I’ve met on public transport, Facebook mum groups or on the street; film stars, ambassadors, Tesco delivery drivers, pimps, brexiteers, far right c*nts and all sorts.
It’s like we all have the plague and know we’re all going to struggle, so regardless if you were born with a silver spoon or a greasy spoon in your mouth, we’re in it together.
I once had an east end looking gangsta running out of a house like he’d just assassinated a drug lord, stop and assist me with my screaming toddler. He tapped me on my back and said, “Hang on in there babe, I’ve got a little nipper myself. It’s ‘ard”, then jumped in what looked like a runaway car and zoomed off.
Another example of comradery was an Irish granny who sat opposite me on a trainand lovingly stretched her arms out to my 9-month-old at the time and just took her for the journey. It was probably 30 years since she last had a baby of her own but she knew the score.
She went on to tell me with her strong accent: “I was di only breastfeeding mudder in da village in dem days”. She described how people queued outside her house for her to breastfeed their sick children and that she often settled strangers hysterically crying babies in public by offering her breast for a suckle.
Thankfully, I arrived at my destination just in time before my daughter ended up suckling on her granny boob. She was lovely though. A breastfeeding hero. Her story could be a movie, starring Meryl Streep or something. “You can take my life but you can’t take my boob…”
Jokes aside for one paragraph. Parenthood breaks down barriers like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I saw a toddler go apeshit in Waitrose once and watched the pint-sized overtired little girl chuck an avocado directly at someone’s head. Very middle class! Her Mother screeched, “No Tabitha”. I communicated to the mother without words: “I got you boo” and she glanced back looking like she’d just pissed all over her Manolo’s and wanted a hug.
Yes, the struggle crosses all backgrounds/borders/creeds/nationalities.
Well until the child hits pre-school age and then the racism moonwalks back in like Michael Jackson at a theme park. Yep, all the openness and heart to heart, warmth and free love can disappear like a vengeance. The racism often returns from maternity leave and strikes back when it comes to conversations about schools. Here’s a conversation I had with a white British mother living in Spain for 20 years.
White British Mother Living in Spain: “I won’t be sending my daughter to the local
Black British Mother: “Oh why? I’ve heard great things about that school.”
White British Mother Living in Spain: “Too many immigrants. I know that sounds
racist but i just want what’s best for my child.”
That statement just fell out of her mouth like she’d been holding in her inner KKK for far too long. There are like two Lebanese families in that Spanish school and she was clutching her C&A handbag and running for her life.
I couldn’t help but be offended because I’m that child of an immigrant she’s banging on about. But worst of all she totally forgot that she’s an actual immigrant herself living in Spain; taking their jobs and their men. White supremacy is a hellava drug.
By all means be picky about not sending your children to a poor performing school but if you don’t send your kids to a school specifically because there are brown pupils there, you might just be losing out on giving your child a good education.
In Britain, ethnic minorities perform better than white British pupils. Straight up. Nigerians, Indians, Ghanaians, Chinese and more have above average grades at British schools. Sorry to break this news to the immigrant haters out there but you’re better off sending your kids to school with the Singhs than the Smiths because white working-class boys perform the worst of any of the groups.
So here’s another tip. Parents, whilst your treating your child of a viral infection, why not treat your child of a bit of racism while you’re at it. Racism is like a virus fed to us daily via the media, institutions and society. The usual black is bad, white is superior messages, requires you to actively cleanse it from your families system on a regular basis. It works just like how you empty the trash bin on your computer.
All you have to do is simply reaffirm positivity about the ‘other’. For example, My Dad once said he was on a London bus back in the 1960s and a little boy pointed at him in absolute disgust and said, “Mum look, he’s black” and his mother beautifully replied, “Yes that’s right son, he’s black because he originated from a hot country. If you lived in a hot country you’ll have beautifully tanned skin too”.
Kind and positive words about other races go a long way and teach your children cultural awareness and respect for differences and similarities.
I went to a German festival once where I was probably the only black human on site. No word of a lie I was stopped every 30 minutes with people thinking I was Azelea Banks who I look nothing like. It was so often that I started signing autographs on her behalf. One even asked if I was Whitney Houston back from the dead. They were all not used to seeing a black face and grouped me up with every black female they had seen on the TV that week.
This is clearly due to a lack of early and meaningful exposure to other races and ethnicities. Science suggests the more young children process a variety of faces the less prejudice they’ll be in adulthood.
Your child not having cross-race identification skills is as wack as never learning how to swim or ride a bike.
Here’s some more examples for your mind. I was really trying to buy a traditional Portuguese doll for my daughter on our travels through Portugal but the shelves in the toy shops looked like the Vikings had kidnapped & murdered all the non blondes, so I asked them to order 2 of each Mediterranean, Asian, Indian, and African doll they could get hold of and that I’d be back to buy them all next week but I did a runner. Hopefully, their shelves will reflect reality now.
The world is 80% NON-white, you morons. Walking into a store with wall to wall of Scandinavian looking dolls is as ridiculous as taking my daughter to a zoo only filled with Swedish farm animals. What a rip off that would be!
Don’t stand for it. Speak up!
Buy your children dolls or action men of all races. If they haven’t got any in stock, order it and create a demand. I repeat, the world is 80% non-white, yet 85% of the characters in books are white.
Aren’t books and storytelling supposed to mirror real life and be a window to the world? Show your children a true reflection of planet earth. Don’t shy away from buying books with diverse characters. Buying your child books with brown faces in it, if you’re not brown doesn’t make you a Rachel Dolezal Mum. Reading more diverse books, about whole characters, written in first person, from different backgrounds, sexualities, disabilities, in different jobs and situations, cultivates compassion, curiosity and care in your child.
Now check your kid’s bookshelf and if 100% of the books are of white characters, then you need to reflect. That includes the animal characters, coz we all know most of them are white affluent people inside.
So go on, be a rebel, buy ‘Tikki Tikki Tembo’ book by Arlene Mosel, a recreation of an ancient Chinese folktale or be radical and buy ‘Baby Colour Milestone Cards’ of boys and girls of colour.
Expose your children to people who are different. I don’t mean run to the streets and grab yourself a person in a wheelchair, a gay, a black and Muslim for a one-off dinner soirée.
If you want your child to engage in a global society, then develop long and meaningful relationships with cultures, religions, traditions that are unlike your own. It will enrich your understanding of the world and enhance you and your child’s social development.
Educate your children about the human race so that my child doesn’t have to.
It’s easier to raise strong and happy children than to repair broken racists.
Start a revolution and stop raising arseholes. Thank you and have a good sleep interrupted night with your children. Peace!
REPOST: I originally wrote this for www.wokemamas.com.