Tips for Maintaining the Racial Balance in Your Home (and Family)

The fact that you went to college in New York City makes the fact that you moved back home on your own even more surprising. And you have figured out how to be part of a relatively dense social circle — that made up primarily of people of color. So the chances are that by now, you’ve built a relationship with your parents. What do you tell them about yourself? About how you’re living your life? Which races you are interwoven with in your community? What are they learning about you?

When you first moved home, my friends and I talk about this all the time. What does your boyfriend’s mother and father think of your boyfriend? When you have a night out, do you ever wonder what they think? What are they trying to tell you? You’re usually so busy with life and with doing your best to fit in with your parents and your social circles. It’s the kind of thing that’s up to you to decide how much of a concern it is. If you want to bring it up, you can. If you don’t, why?

Some people think it’s completely off-limits. My boyfriend’s parents are racist. They are not OK with their son dating someone of color. They don’t know the reality of the world, they do not care about anything that goes beyond their borders, they disapprove of culture that is different than what they grew up with, or their only obligation is to eat their hamburgers and to stay happy.

My friends and I have all been incredibly affected by racism. How do you combat racism? What can you do when you deal with a casual racism, or when you are confronted with racism when going out to do your daily things? If you want to talk about racism and about your experience, it’s amazing to get their perspective.

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