|Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States on 2017-01-16 17:54Z by Steven|
Shelly Fields is a 46-year-old white woman living in Richton Park, a racially diverse Chicago suburb. She says she’s raised her four daughters, who are biracial, to see people of all races as equal, just as her parents raised her. Fields doesn’t think that racism will ever disappear completely, but she’s hopeful that it lessens with each passing generation.
“The more biracial children there are, the more equality we see,” Fields said. “The more people of color we see in positions of power – it will help to change the way people see race.”
Her oldest daughter, Summer, is a 22-year-old graduate of the University of Chicago. When she was in high school, Summer probably would have agreed that race relations were looking up. The ’90s and early 2000s were “a post-racial fantasy time” in Richton Park, Summer said. “Being firmly in the middle of the Obama era – it [was] a moment of progress. It was validating.”
Now, as the Obama era ends, she is of the mind that racism isn’t going anywhere.
“Racism always evolves, and will find a way,” Summer said.
The question that Shelly and Summer are tackling has been posed in many forms for many generations. Will racism just die off with old bigots? Does the fate of race relations lie with the children?…
…They’ve argued over things like trigger warnings and safe spaces (her mom says that’s not how the real world works) and about how to self-identify. Summer thought of herself as biracial until she went to college. When she started referring to herself as a black woman, that became another point of contention.
“My mom doesn’t understand,” she said. “She feels like that’s an affront to her.”…
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