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September 3, 2020

The Fight that Transformed my Daughter’s Bullies & Neighborhood Racism.

I’m multiracial—not Black or White.

The media might lead you toward forgetting that there are more races than Black and white—imagine that!

I’ve fought people and systems for years over racism toward my daughter for being “white.” And I get incredibly irked when people say things like, “Oh, poor white girl, now you know how it feels.”

Further down the dark rabbit hole we go, passing and spreading pain from one area to another.

My daughters and I had the most profound interaction with some neighborhood kids about two years ago. I was on the porch, heard a bunch of screaming and yelling, and found my daughter surrounded by about 15 kids, with her fist cocked back.

I stepped in.

I arrived to the scene with curiosity, and I asked questions that started an important and much-needed conversation.

“Woah, hold on. What’s going on, here?”

A new girl in the neighborhood was trying to introduce herself, and my daughter was rejecting her and telling her to leave her alone. She then threatened to fight the group of kids away. The new girl was offended, being new to the area and having zero history with my daughter. She was searching for a reason behind my daughter’s rejection.

As anger started to bubble up, a few of the other kids had encouraged this to turn into a physical fight.

This is what led to the loud altercation that I heard on the playground.

I opened my heart to the new neighborhood girl, explaining the situation:

“Okay, I see. Let me, first, provide some background on this situation. For the last two years, my child hasn’t been able to walk past one of these girls without having profane names thrown at her. The experiences she’s had with the girl you are with have not been pleasant. This girl was friends with the neighborhood bully, who has just moved away. Being called an ugly a** white girl, and told to keep walking away white a** hoe, being tricked into having her things destroyed, and being pushed around the bus stop, has left some scars on her. And this seems to have planted the seed of prejudice inside of my daughter. You did not directly influence any of this, and I’m sorry that it has been projected upon you, personally. You don’t deserve it.”

To my surprise, this child absorbed what I was saying and understood.

The kids continued to explain their feelings that led to the situation I had walked up to. We listened to each other.

I said, “Okay, now, let’s start over.”

And we did.

First, we properly introduced ourselves.

Both parties apologized for their behaviors. The new girl, my daughter, and the friend of my child’s bully then spent the next two hours together getting to know each other on a deeper level. We talked about our families, our interests, the kids traded advice, and talked about ways they could support each other from this point on.

This situation started out bad and had a happy ending.

Kids, 11 or 12 years old, showed more maturity, compassion, understanding, and open-mindedness than most adults would have. I am so proud of these kids for having the ability to speak  and listen openly and honestly about their whats and whys, and myself for having enough sense to see the situation without judgement or bias, and help this group of kids come together.

They started out enemies and ended as friends.

Together, we created peace.

To this day, my heart still bursts with joy and pride, recalling how the kids expressed how good it felt to come together and end a race war.

That day, a group of people all shades of skin color, genders, ages, and sexual orientations came together and experienced true pride and victory.

Together, we sat and cried tears of joy and relief. We ended a war—together—peacefully.

I won’t say I was the only adult involved, because their families’ influence was reflected through these kids, and it was beautiful.

Our children are learning from us.

What portraits are we displaying?

Now, this was not the first nor the last time we’ve faced racism in our community, but it was the first time that it led to love, and it is my favorite story to tell.

If my sharing this could do anything, I would hope it to be leaving people knowing, or even considering, this:

>> Communicate, be vulnerable, considerate, and compassionate.

>> Get to know someone for who they are and stop condemning them for who you think they are.

>> Let go of the hate. Close your eyes and make up your own mind based on character.

>> Open your mind to see outside of your initial judgements.

The world would be a much better place, if only there were more love.

~

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