We Need a Village to Raise Mixed Race Children

3 years ago

 Photo by Justice Beitzel via Creative Commons

My husband and I can’t raise our biracial kids alone.

We need your help. As a society we need to work together to raise confident, happy kids. It’s cliche but our children are the future of this planet.

This weekend’s mass killings of at UC Santa Barbara have been weighing on my mind. Elliot Rodger, the shooter,  is Hapa: his mother is Malyasian Chinese and his father British. It’s very likely that his perception of his race was a root of his anger and depression (he possibly identified as mixed race Asian). He didn’t like being Asian and “saw it as a flaw in his quest for women” (source). While Rodger’s rage is more complex than race, it was a huge factor in his lack of happiness.

In February, an NPR story popped up in my Facebook feed: How I Learned to Feel Undesirable by 32-year-old Noah Cho. With a Korean father and a white mother, Cho never felt like he belonged. He looked more like his father, but the world around him told him Asian males were the least desirable of all races. Even though he’s happily married for 10 years, he still feels this way.

America, what are we doing to our children?

While every parent and family have their own rules and way of doing things, we need to consider the consequences of what we teach our children. Our children will take those viewpoints and spread them to everyone they touch: their best friends at school and the lonely misfits in the corner.

Parents aren’t the only ones responsible. The media bombards us with images of the ideal body, the perfect mate, the best race. Some of it is subliminal (we hardly see Asian men or dark-skinned African American women on magazine covers).  Others slap us in the face with it (Hello, Sixteen Candles). 

I can teach my kids that they are beautiful and their mixed race heritage is to be celebrated, but how long can I fend off media and societal prejudices? My husband and I do our best to raise strong, confident,  and loving children before sending them out into the world. But we need everyone to raise their children to celebrate diversity, no matter what your family’s racial make-up or cultural heritage.

We need our village to raise our mixed race children to love themselves.

So there aren’t tragic events like what happened in Santa Barbara. So that the Noah Chos of the world will see himself as a enough.

I started my blog as a way to share the multicultural resources I discovered. I originally searched for these books, movies, and toys to show my children that they are not alone. Then I realized that no matter our race, all of our children need to see the diverse world around. Everyone needs to read these books. Everyone needs to watch those movies and television shows and celebrate the diversity in them. They are the conversation starters.

Will you join me?

This post originally appeared on I'm Not the Nanny


Thien-Kim wishes she got paid to nanny her own children. She blogs at  I’m Not the Nanny and is the head book nerd at From Left to Write, a virtual book club community for bloggers.

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