It Doesn’t Really Matter, Does It?

Tanya - Estelline, South Dakota
Entered on October 27, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family, race

I believe my granddaughter will never doubt that she is anything but normal. She is part Caucasian and part African America. Notice, I didn’t say ¼ this or ½ that…it doesn’t really matter, does it? Does it?

I know that thirty years ago, when I wanted to date a boy who was not Caucasian, it shouldn’t have mattered to my parents. But it did. They taught me that a person should not be judged by the color of their skin. But they couldn’t allow their daughter to date an African American. They told me that society wouldn’t accept it. Somehow, that was supposed to justify their actions. It didn’t sit well with me then and now, thirty years later, I realize I should have fought harder to make them acknowledge their own bigotry.

My granddaughter is beautiful…so beautiful that her grandfather and I have stopped telling her she is “cute”. Instead we ask, “Are you as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside?” At less than a year old, she obviously doesn’t understand the nuance of our question. But one day, she will.

If I want my granddaughter to accept that she is just a normal little girl, I must continually help her fight the bigotry of others. After all, I am a part of society. How much of her is white and how much is black shouldn’t matter to anyone. I believe her heritage should only matter to those who are interested in her, and not to those who are afraid of her.