Hmmm…there is something bugging me about the article “Raising the Obama Generation,” written by Stephen Tally in the most recent issue of Best Life. I need to spend some time pulling it apart. In the meantime…
My wife and I were driving our 2 1/2-year-old son, Asher, to school recently when he suddenly piped up from the backseat.
“Daddy, what color are you?”
My eyes went wide. I slowly turned to my wife. Marie’s mouth was agape, as if someone had slapped her. She’s Haitian-American and I’m pure Irish, so our charming and strong-willed Asher is what’s called “biracial” these days. Or, as my mother-in-law once said, “halfie-halfie.”
“Um, what do you mean, Ash?” I asked, stalling for time.
“You’re white,” he said.
It was the emphasis that made it sting. He made it sound as if he’d just found out I was an escaped convict.
My wife looked at me with sympathy, but after half a minute, she couldn’t stand the suspense any longer. “And what color is Mommy?” she asked.
“Mommy’s brown,” Asher said, with great exactness.
My wife has always joked that light-skinned Asher will one day pass her off to his friends as the black maid. I saw a flicker of hurt in her eyes. We both sensed what was coming.
“And what color is Asher?” I asked.
He thought for a moment, and in the rearview mirror I saw him glance down at his bare arm. “Asher yellow,” he said finally. Then he lost interest. Read more…
Okay, one thing that is definitely bothering me is that the scene above infers that Tally and his wife are horrified that their son notices differences in skin color, as if that alone is bad. Say it with me now…There is nothing wrong with noticing that someone has brown skin. The problem only comes when you treat the person differently because of it. Colorblindness is very, very silly. In another part of the article, Tally speaks of losing his son briefly on a playground and questions why he tells a fellow parent to look for a boy in blue shorts who is “mixed.” He seems disappointed in himself for mentioning his son’s race, but how else could he give an accurate description of the child?
Thank God the article includes a sidebar with a quote from Carmen and a shout out for ARP. The sidebar hasn’t been posted yet, but I’ll link to it when it is.
What do you think of the main article?