Thursday, April 30, 2015
There is so much going on in our world right now, much of which is extremely saddening and hard to really grasp. As a woman of color in America, I have never really been a victim of racism. For that, I feel fortunate. I've lived most of my life in Washington state, and I've always been around a diverse group of people. Black people, white people, hispanic people, asian people, etc. Each place I've lived, every school I went to, always had such a diverse population. To add to the diversity, I befriended gay men, lesbian women, and I'm a product of homosexual parents. To say I'm open minded when it comes to all races and backgrounds is an understatement. In my adult life, I went on to marry a white man, and together we have a multi-racial daughter. While I have never feared or worried about how our beautiful child will be treated by society, the latest events of the world have me second guessing that decision. Before I go any further, I don't want you to think this post is going to be about blaming any one race for anything that's happening in our world right now. This post will not talk about police brutality, or disregard any race. This post will serve as my plan for how we will choose to address racism and discrimination with our child.

For staters, Ava has a unique situation. She, like so many other people, have a blended family. Her father's side consists of Irish, French, Dutch, and Scottish descents. My family consists of Puerto Rican, Hawaiian, Black, Native, and Japanese descents. That's a lot to take in right off the bat. She will always know that love comes from all races, all people, and we will teach her to exude love to all people and all races, merely because of her family. We want to teach Ava that the heart of a person has nothing to do with their skin color. I do not want her to "not notice color" because that is not possible. She will notice color. We all do. But, we will teach her not to base her judgements or decisions off of a human being simply because of their color. We want to teach her that wrong is wrong, and right is right. The color of your skin has nothing to do with morality, values, or doing the right thing, or stopping the wrong thing. I want her to know that you can be friends with anyone you choose because we DO live in a nation that protects those rights. We want our daughter to be proud of the United States of America not only because her father fights for her freedom, but because this nation has given it's citizens so many opportunities, and we are grateful for those opportunities.

No country is perfect, no system goes without flaws, but we as whole can make a change by choosing to keep an open mind, choosing to love all people, and choosing to do the right thing, even in hard situations. I won't downplay how saddening it has been to see people being slaughtered by our law enforcement whether right or wrong. I won't downplay how sad it has been to see those innocent officers being ostracized by the very communities they fight for everyday. I won't downplay that something is stirring and igniting the people of our nation, and I feel like our society is dividing now more than ever before. I won't downplay that people are victims of racism on a daily basis and it hurts their very core. I see these unfortunate situations as a chance for change. Instead of rioting, instead of fighting, instead of involving myself more than I feel comfortable with, I choose to love. I choose to love my daughter, and I choose to raise her to love. Just because you take a back seat on something major in our country, it doesn't mean you don't care. I feel as a citizen of this nation that I'm doing my part, by raising a family that doesn't discriminate against anyone. I'm doing my part by loving all people and allowing my daughter to see this take place. I don't believe that violence is the answer. You can say that's wrong, but I strongly believe it's true. Go home, do the right thing. Love everyone. Not all people will go on to be a good person, a good friend, or an upstanding citizen. Those things, we know, will always happen.

If we don't give people a chance though, we may never know. This was just my two cents about the chaos going around right now. My heart hurts for everyone involved. My heart hurts for the lives lost, my heart hurts that we somehow can't beat racism. We are such a melting pot, and we are such a beautiful nation, I can't fathom a world where we all can't be together. So if I leave you guys with one message, it would be to start in your own homes. That's how we are going to end all the wars right now. We won't end them in the street, with violence, or with blood being shed. Sometimes the largest assemblies are the ones that call for the smallest acts of change. That's how we can start a chain reaction. I hope by doing this we are sending Ava bug into a better world than the one I've seen over these last few months. It's time to love each other guys. Love is the power, love is the key.

♥- Leilani

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