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Dear White Parents of Biracial Children: Having Mixed Babies Isn’t Enough to Excuse Your Ignorance

Dear white parents of biracial children,

What are you doing? How many times are you going to sympathize with and defend known racists before your children see a society built to destroy them, reflected in your eyes? I understand that not all of you hang out with known racists, but that is an extreme case of what I more often than not see with white parents of biracial children. Having mixed babies doesn’t justify the things you might do or say. Let’s take Kim Kardashian for example, who has two biracial children and a black husband yet she appropriates black culture and defended known racist Jeffree Star. Yes, I’m writing to white parents like you.

Now, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you and your child will not have the same experiences. Your mixed baby will branch out into a society that wants to hurt them, a society that looks like you. It is your job to educate them while at the same time educating yourself. Teach them what to do when pulled over by the police or followed by store employees. Teach them that their lives matter before someone else tries to tell them otherwise. In a country run by white supremacists, you need to be absolutely clear about your stance on certain issues. I think this quote from Desmond Tutu explains this quite well,

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

This is especially relevant to you because while you are busy being comfortable and complacent, your child is forced to have an opinion on any topic even remotely related to their racial identity. And because they will be grappling with this constant weight on their shoulders, you too will need to grow accustomed to it. One thing you can do to carry some of that weight is by not bringing up certain issues.

There is a time and a place for every conversation, but know that home may be the only place where your biracial kid can escape the pressure to have an opinion. So when the latest news headline boasts, “*Insert Child’s Ethnicity* Person Committed This Crime,” do not directly look to them for their opinion or thoughts on the matter. It’s a recipe for disaster and a microaggression just waiting to happen.

Finally, here are some things you may want to keep in mind when raising your biracial child:

  • If your kid makes harmless white people jokes, don’t take it personally.
  • People of color can’t be racist, so your kid saying something about white people that you may not agree with doesn’t equate to him or her being racist.
  • Your child may not want to identify themselves as white and that’s okay.
  • You may find yourself checking your privilege from time to time.
  • There are just some lessons that you won’t be able to teach them.

I hope you don’t take this advice lightly.

With love,

A concerned daughter.

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Jazkia Phillips
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Jazkia is a junior in high school from Portland, Oregon. Among other things, in her spare time, she enjoys kindly asking people to check their privilege, talking about diversity, and smashing the patriarchy. In the future, she would like to teach Ethnic Studies to high school students in Oregon or Hawai'i.

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