Our daughter, Devaney, was over at her friend’s house last month and it finally happened – that ugly thing that parents, of other races, have had to help their children navigate for hundreds of years before today. Her friend’s older brother had some of his buddies over playing basketball and, when Devaney went inside, one
intelligence challenged boy stated that Dev should go back to where she came from (Is he talking about my womb?!). It’s true that while the mixed-race phenomenon is on the rise, we white folk have some catching up to do in the arena of teaching this part to our children. I had to think about this. I looked carefully at her pretty face as I still thought about this, and then I asked her how it made her feel.
“It made me feel bad. My friends just told him that I wasn’t an immigrant, that I was half black. He just said ‘Oh, whatever’ and then kept playing. They told me what he said when I came back outside. I acted like it didn’t bother me, but inside I felt like screaming at him.” Her big, beautiful, brown eyes remained downcast toward the floor.
Look at me. Look at me, Devaney. You should feel bad…but not for you. You should feel bad for him. It’s a sad thing that, sometime during the short sixteen years that boy’s been on this earth, someone else spoke to him about, and instilled in him, such stupidity. You should feel bad that, chances are, he is someday going to instill in his own children that same stupidity. Did you ask him what Native American tribe he is a member of? He must have some tribal affiliation if he’s concerning himself with any type of immigration…considering that all of the rest of us came from somewhere else.
Listen to me now, Baby. It’s time you start preparing intelligent and rational responses to this type of mess because when the time comes that you do personally respond, you will have to counter such a lack of intelligence with a superior form of it. Uneducated people such as this will sound even more ridiculous (even to those around them they were trying to impress in the first place) when their mindlessness is countered by the cognizant and versed truth you will spit at them.
Always be proud of who you are. Always remember that your joy cannot be stolen, it can only be given away. Always be classy, compassionate, rational and enlightened – as to not perpetuate the stereotypes they are trying to hate you for in the first place. Always know that God designed and created you, to this detail, for a specific purpose. Always shine with the brilliance of the light He put in you, and the darkness of the world will crumble under the weight of its own hatefulness.
I love you, you spectacular, phenomenal, extraordinary, stunning, marvelous, astonishing, fabulous, breathtaking, illuminating, brilliant, remarkable, dazzling, sensational, prodigious gift to us all!
And like you said yourself – “Haters are your biggest fans!”