Black and White

Here on this blog things stay pretty light, so I haven’t quite decided how to approach deeply controversial topics. I have no problem discussing them though, so for the most part I figure I would let my writing lead the way.

I recently heard it sarcastically put that “…this is the year of the racist…” We have all been talking about race in this country in a very heated way following the death of Trayvon Martin. There is so much heat around this issue that it seems it could literally burn you up. My personal feelings on this case are simple: while every attempt was made in a court of law to prove or disprove George Zimmerman racially profiled, defended himself against an aggressor in the darkness, or maliciously tracked a child down and killed him, it seems no one will ever know exactly how this situation went down because one party isn’t here to tell his side of the story. Our individual interpretation of this event comes down to what we truly believe about each man, and that comes directly from how we’ve learned to interpret race, our own personal experiences, and what information we’ve been fed via the media. While I have internally debated what I believe about the man I see on television, his side of the story and the interviews, very simply it is a great tragedy to me to see a young life cut short, no matter the circumstances.

On the heels of this verdict, a Cheerios commercial has stirred up hateful comments and controversy that has pushed me over the edge. A precious, tiny girl asks her Mama about Cheerios being “heart healthy,” and the commercial cuts to her Daddy snoozing on the couch covered in cereal.  I loved this commercial the first time I saw it, because I have a daughter, and a child’s precious heart wanting to care those she loves melts me every time. I smiled at her expressions and even noted that I liked the actor who plays the Daddy. Then a few days later I hear about controversy with a Cheerios commercial. I had to re-watch it online to even catch what people could be upset about. Oh. Mommy is white and Daddy is black. You cannot be serious. I have been consumed with this since I heard it. I am ashamed that in 2013 we are still talking about interracial marriage as controversy.

Full disclosure: I am a white thirty year old woman married to a white twenty-nine year old man. I was raised in a small town in Tennessee. I am a Christian trying to figure things out. So here it goes: WAKE UP people. If you’re preaching to your children about being unequally yolked, wake up. You think you could look Jesus in the face and tell him that He meant black + white = “unequally yolked” and back it up biblically? What a hilarious conversation that would be with the man who associated with prostitutes, tax collectors, and criminals. And just what color do you think a person living in Nazareth might’ve been? He probably didn’t look Swedish, I can tell you that. I cannot believe I live in a country where the color of a person’s skin is still lending itself to a heated discussion over a beautiful child chatting with her mother at breakfast and pouring Cheerios over her Daddy. The beauty in this world is so often bashed and shattered by those with an agenda, but for the life of me I cannot figure out the agenda. What is it? Fear? This perpetuated division is sickening and I am OVER.IT.

I heard that several children were interviewed with age-appropriate questions about race following the national attention of this commercial, and one response was something to the effect of ‘underneath we are literally the same – we have organs and a heart.’ How much clearer could it be? What truer words have ever been spoken? My prayer is that I will raise my babies to evaluate a person’s character: one’s stuffings, one’s goodness, loyalty, and integrity, his or her heart, mind and intentions. Haven’t we learned anything about loving one another?

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