At various holiday parties this season, I’ve heard people remark that our country is seeing the last gasp of racism and sexism. The idea being, people who harbor bigoted feelings are cared as their numbers dwindle so they are more visible and louder now. I very badly want the demise of such hatred to be true, but so much makes me skeptical it is.
As I write, the temperature is dropping here in Minneapolis – real winter is settling in. Our windows are frosting over as my multiracial kids are leaping, joyfully dancing, and singing while dressed, way too early, in their cozy flannel PJs. They are safe, secure and joyful.
This year has made me acutely aware of the coldness that surrounds my babies. Impossibly, for their beautiful skin, gorgeous curls and stunning brown eyes. It has pushed us to hug them closer, to be more present and more aware in every interaction. It has also made us double our efforts to surround them in love by finding images and examples of people in books and magazines who look like them and act as pieces of who they are – brave, funny, nerdy, happy, grumpy, and generally brilliant, complicated, normal people.
I do have hope that this will be a time we look back on as a watershed moment that forced us into real change. That it will be the catalyst to a kinder, more equitable and empathetic society. A time when a conversation started that made every person think more openly and honestly and re-evaluate themselves, their words and their actions.
As they were in 2017, my children in 2018 will remain open and curious. Ready to learn and to love. Let’s all commit to more of all of that in 2018.