internets people

At first I wasn’t mad. Then as I kept reading this, I started to get more and more pissed off.

Before I start, I’m trying to be particularly transparent here. And I’m not really trying to start any beef. On Twitter, they call it “subtweeting” if you start tweeting about something happening between other folks on Twitter, but you don’t directly engage with those people. I’ve left a comment on the site already in which I’ve said pretty much what I’m going to say next. Although I haven’t said it all. So I might make another comment over there. But then I don’t want her to say I’m harassing her. That’s why I’m writing on my own site.

The basic thing that pissed me off was this part:

Judgment like those comments is one reason why white people don’t talk about race.

Bullshit. First off, no one likes to be judged, and white people ain’t the only people that are judged when it comes to talking about race. It fucking annoys me that White people think they hold some special corner on feeling judged when it comes to talking about race. I get judged every day when I talk about race. Judged as the angry black woman. So the excuse of “White people don’t talk about race b/c other people make judgments about them when they do” is bullshit. That’s first.

Second, if you don’t want comments, why in the hell are you writing on the internet?? I put my stuff out here because I’m a bit of an exhibitionist. Why wold you post stories about your life, your childrens’ life – and then allow it to be cross-posted – if you don’t want people to comment on it? And especially a story about children and race? On an anti-racist parenting website?

If you want everyone to just co-sign – then keep it on our blog. You’ll see if you go there – except for my comment – everyone is like “yeah, you’re great! eff those judgmental people! you’re a great mom!” And if that’s what you want in your space, great! Moderate your comments. Nothing you don’t want there will be there. But on an open site, where you know there is debate and opinion – it’s not the first time she posted there – do you expect everyone to just co-sign whatever you did or didn’t do?

And the last thing – how she dismisses non-White parents comments is absolutely condescending and belies her “commitment” to anti-racist parenting. Non-White mothers trying to give her advice – but since “we don’t know her or her kids” our opinion is worthless, right?

She thinks herself an “old pro” at dealing with these things because she has an older adopted non-White child. *Blank stare.* The fact that her 3-year-old kid calls darker skin tones “blacker” (and she’s Chinese) and this mother did not correct her as to the difference between skin color and race is problematic – but non-White parents have nothing to tell her? Again, bullshit.

This last thing is what I haven’t said to her, which would be considered subtweeting in the Twitter world. But coming back to her and saying this on her site would be a bit harassing, don’t you think? I’m going to err on the side of caution and keep my thoughts to myself, or at least on my own blog.

I’m sorry, but White people get on my nerves sometimes.

8 thoughts on “internets people

  1. Hmmm…. I may come back to this if I have time. I’m only commenting because I know you (from your blog) and AmFam from reading her blog for over 4-5 years and it’s a bit strange to see bloggers/ blog posts I know colliding in this way. So, I hope you don’t get upset at what I write here too.

    First, I don’t think she’s referring to your comment at all in her other post (and I did NOT read the rest of the comments either, just yours which is the first in the first post). Your comment is pretty ok, well, except maybe for the part where you assume she doesn’t talk about race at home because she certainly does (the posts from 2007 about her older daughter is an example) and that’s one of the thing that she does mention in her subsequent post, so… well, maybe I’m a bit wrong.

    I don’t feel I can say anything else because I’m sensitive and afraid to be criticized too. There is a biggest context in anyone’s life and story and only a small slice is told in words in people’s blogs. that’s all I’ll say for now.

    Like

    1. This is really one of my points, Lillian – no one is forced to write on the internet. No one is forced to let their opinions, stories, veiwpoints, be known on the internet. So you don’t HAVE to say anything. AmFam didn’t HAVE to put her post out there. But she did, and in a space that is known for people having opinions and giving advice.

      I did say something about “you not talking about race at home.” Honestly, I meant it in a global “you” way, but that’s my fault for not being clear. We know that MOST American families (no pun intended) DON’T tallk about race with their kids. But again, that’s my fault for being unclear. And even if I had been referring to Am Fam, I wrote my comment immediately after the post was posted on LIE – I didn’t read the second installment until it came out the next day. So I didn’t know she talked to her kids about race. Instead of complaining about “judgmental internet people” she could have responded to the comments, clarifying things where SHE was unclear.

      And perhaps, instead of feeling judged – because “this is why white people don’t talk about race, because they feel judged” – perhaps she could have realized that in that space, I’ve noticed that people really just want to HELP, and are aiming their comments toward that goal. My comment was not meant to be malicious or judgmental, and I didn’t see others that were intended that way either. She lumped all the commenters into one box of “judgmental.” I think most people were thinking about her CHILD, and trying to understand how best to respond to her post in the best interest of her kid.

      Like

  2. It was mistake for me to let only two of three posts (LINE left out the intro post where I gave more background) be posted outside of my own blog. Those posts were written for the audience of my blog (and for myself and my children when they are older, honestly), many of whom have read along with me as I have struggled to be an anti-racist parent for the past 7 years I have been blogging (not to mention the years I worked on being anti-racist before I even had kids). Those specific posts weren’t really written for the general public with no background about me or my family. My mistake, obviously, letting them being published without thinking about that or editing them. It’s alright, I have a pretty thick skin. I just happened to need to vent a little this morning.

    With respect to your specific comment (which wasn’t even one that particularly annoyed me), based on a partial post you assumed that we “don’t talk about race at home” which is patently not true, so I found that more than a little presumptive. I didn’t explain our efforts to talk about race because people who normally read my blog are subjected regularly to examples of conversations we do have.

    Since you don’t read my blog, I am happy to let you know we talk about both skin color and ethnicity, but my daughter doesn’t yet developmentally grasp the overlap. What I was trying to say is that my daughter doesn’t get that being Chinese is the reason she has darker skin/black hair/asian eyes, even though she does know she has darker skin (she is a little vague about hair and eyes so far). Ethnicity is a hard thing for a four year old to get her hands around because it is not necessarily based on something visual. We happen to have a number of family members who are Asian but not Chinese, part Chinese but appearing white, Chinese but able/not able to speak Chinese and Chinese not from China (Taiwanese) so that also muddies the waters of understanding for someone so young. She’ll get there, but I was just trying to let the principal know that celebrating Chinese new year isn’t going to help L like her brown skin. The principal didn’t get the difference between race and ethnicity either, so I guess I can’t fault the 4 year old.

    And for the record, my daughter says “blacker” because she is FOUR and she has speech delays, likely due to her time in an orphanage. So, no, I don’t correct her terminology, I talk to her about the issue she is trying to bring up without shaming her for her attempts at talking a subject bigger than the language she has at this point in time.

    Also, I have no way of knowing which commenters were people of color. You spoke of your experience with your children of color, much the way I am speaking of my experience with MY children of color. I don’t consider myself to be “an old pro”, but I have been blogging my experiences parenting in our multi-racial family for a really long time. I am sure you don’t care, but if you wanted to, you could read through the 53 pages of archives I have about those issues on my blog (http://american-family.org/category/raceandculture/page/53/).

    There is a lot of stuff there I would do or say differently now, stuff that is embarrassing and downright stupid, but the blogging of it is one way I process. Blogging is also a way for me to record these stories for my children later because they need to know their white mom put a lot of thought into raising them to be happy, well-adjusted people of color. I don’t that that responsibility lightly.

    Talking about race is hard. I can only share my own experience of people trying to judge and shame me for bringing it up. It makes people all squirmy and uncomfortable, but too effing bad. It is totally worth it, to put up with other people’s judgment and misunderstandings, because blogging and talking about this stuff makes me a better parent to my children.

    Like

    1. I don’t think anyone was trying to blame or judge you for bringing up race. (For the record, in your post about your child saying “blacker”, you called yourself an “old pro.”) Honestly, I felt that you were trying to judge and blame others for bringing up how YOUR reaction to your daughter’s issue MIGHT be problematic. Of course, no one knows the whole story. Giving the whole story is up to you, as a blogger, otherwise we, as readers, must go on what you give us. Allowing LIE to post your story, as it was, opened you up to the criticism you received. To have self-righteous indignation about that, is, in my opinion, quite judgmental of you.

      Whether you are or are not an anti-racist parent is not for me to judge. Or anyone else – I agree with you on that. Whatever that means. White people have all kinds of ideas of what that means, and my original post gives you some idea of what I think about that. Your comment about “why white people don’t talk about race” is what really struck me as quite a non-anti-racist thing to say. But that’s just me.

      Like

  3. Just a clarification as I have read Am-Fam’s blog for several years. She is married to an Asian American man (partner for over 15 years at this point), has a biological bi-racial older child and an adopted Asian American younger child.

    Like

      1. In your post, you wrote –

        “She thinks herself an “old pro” at dealing with these things because she has an older adopted non-White child. *Blank stare.*”

        I thought she was more talking about her whole experience – and since you seemed to think that her older child was adopted – I was clarifying that part. Her older child is a biological, biracial child. Her younger child is adopted. AmFam has been part of a interracial relationship for half her life. I thought my clarification was clear. You seemed to be implying that she might not understand how to talk about race because it was her first time at the circus (when she was dealing with the situation was her younger daughter). I was pointing out that she has another child who has dealt with substantially the same issues as a biracial child who has gone through this same developmental age already – though who had a much more clear understanding of race at this age.

        I tried to write my clarification in order to do just that – clarify a point of factual inaccuracy that your blog post seemed to imply. I specifically did so without commenting on either the original blog post from AmFam or your response because I was not trying to make any commentary on either the meat of your post or AmFam’s.

        Like

  4. Thank you for clarifying the factual inaccuracy – that her older child was not an adopted Asian child. The “old pro” statement was more my problem – that just because we have older children that makes us pros at talking about race.

    Another thing that occurred to me is how parents think others are judging them when we might just be trying to help. Just a thought.

    Like

Comments are closed.