A different perspective

An acquaintance of mine at Motherhood and More wrote a post that I want to address. She is referring to MLK day and race issues in this country and she brings out several points that I often write  about. I’ll start with a quote:

How easy would it be, even subconsciously, for “I’m glad I’m white” to gradually morph into “It’s better that I’m white” and eventually to “I’m better because I’m white” if there wasn’t a strong message to counter that?

 

It sounds like a person who really wants to educate their children and overcome the pitfall of racial prejudice. Here’s a question. Is it possible that a black person could feel the same way? “ I am better because I am black.” Well here’s another quote:

But maybe there’s another layer to it that I have – in my white ignorance, perhaps – never considered. If a white child thinks “I’m glad I’m white,” could a black child think, “It sucks that I’m black?”

 

The white kid feels superior while the black kid feels inferior?   Yes I think some black kids come away with the message that black is inferior, but I also think that comes from the reinforcement of that idea that they get from society. The people who look at them and feel pity because they are buying into memes spread through the culture. I could take the same idea and apply it to women…should all women feel inferior because their history is littered with oppression? Should my daughter feel inferior because the 19th Amendment didn’t happen until 1920? I don’t think so.

My point is that if there is a black child who feels inferior the problem likely comes from teaching methods and societal reinforcement. If someone spent 50% of your day telling you that you had to fight for your rights and that you were a slave you might also feel inferior, but the problem with the picture is that the people telling these stories are not telling the whole story. They toss around the idea of the poor black slave, poor kids of black slaves…

This is exactly the sort of crap that pisses me off. The entire focus of the discussion is set up to reinforce negative notions of poor black kids whose ancestors were slaves.

The idea that the black kid would watch Dr. Kings speech and conclude that they do not want to be black, might be true to some extent, but it misses the big picture. There are many, many black people who grew up proud of who they were and where they came from. Kids who grew up in this time period with educated parents who focused on what all Americans at the time focused on; education and equality. These people, including my grandparents, never felt inferior and did not teach their kids the inferiority complex. Their children did not go to public schools and did not learn to the inferiority complex that you mention in your post.  No one talks about this in schools, but as an educator you have more freedom to give your kids the truth.  Give them a real education by providing information about these kids and parents who are forgotten by history because they do not fit the common narrative. Here is my suggestion: Next year instead of watching Dr. King and reinforcing an inaccurate, but mainstream meme, try listening to Extraordinary Ordinary People  and give your kids a gift of real understanding instead of reinforcing an old and tired stereotype that is both inaccurate and offensive.

Advertisements

Birthdays

In the house we have some rather odd birthday traditions. Kyson, 6 as of today, spends the week before his birthday planning an elaborate birthday feast.  He plans, breakfast, lunch and dinner and spends his day eating himself into birthday oblivion. Today he chose pancakes for breakfast (circumvented by Grandpa kidnapping him for birthday breakfast of burritos, coke and horchata ) followed by crepes for lunch, and rounding it off it paneer masala for dinner. For dessert he ordered chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting and chocolate chips inside. This basically translates to one, or both, of his parents spending the day in the kitchen with a five-year old overlord making impossible demands as we sweat, beg and plead for a break from the kitchen while he laughs and orders more food. He looks forward to his birthday, it his day to feast on power and food.

Lilith, on the other hand, usually orders a healthy (meaning lots of veggies in soup) dinner followed by an elaborate cake. Each year she spends countless hours planning a cake that is some combination of her favorite tastes for the year and her favorite color of the year. We get weird mixes like white cake with lemon frosting and blueberries and blackberries on top. One year she ordered a  chocolate cake with lemon chocolate frosting and every year she refuses to eat the cake. She tastes it, dislikes it, and starts planning next year’s cake while we look on and figure out how to get rid of the cake that no one wants to eat.

Daniel eats the same meal every year on his birthday. Kyle started making it when he was six and he is still making it 10 years later. Same dinner, same cake, chocolate with chocolate icing. He spends twice as much time planning and plotting gifts. He never asks for anything, but around this time of year he starts dropping hints about the coolest “x” or how he needs a little more money and he will be able to afford “y”.  We generally respond by getting ‘z’, which he always loves and is never expecting.

I love celebrating birthdays because they are a time when we get to celebrate the person. I love spending the day appreciating and focusing on the beauty and individuality of each person in this house. I think my kids are pretty cool, and I love taking time to celebrate their individuality.

House full of sick kids + crazy cooking mom = yummy chicken soup and turkey rolls

Sick people in the house today, sore throats and stuffy noses all around. I am the only person who feels great and I am really excited because I get to feed sick people!  I love feeding sick people, probably the nurturing side of me rearing its ugly head.  I have a standard chicken soup recipe that I use whenever anyone in the house gets sick. It starts with making a good chicken broth. My chicken broth recipe is pretty easy, it involves taking a chicken (whole chicken including livers and hearts) and placing it in a pot along with onion, garlic, carrots and celery and cooking it on low for 6 to 8 hours.  I like to cook for 24 hours, but since I usually make the soup when someone in the house is sick 8 hours is the max cooking time.  While the broth was cooking I had the challenge of feeding a very picky sick 5 year old lunch. He skipped breakfast because he did not want eggs and I can understand. So I had to make something for lunch that he could not resist. I made turkey, avocado, bacon rolls and he loved it. His dad and sister also thought they were pretty yummy so I thought I would share the recipe.

Turkey avocado rolls

Turkey slices

1 avocado

3 slices bacon

Tomato

Cheddar Cheese (for Lilith)

Take turkey slice, place avocado, tomato and bacon in center. Roll turkey slice with yummy ingredients inside .  Serve with mustard.

How easy is that! Paleo lunch everyone is happy and I am done!

Going Paleo and Shirred Eggs

So we have been dabbling in Paleo for the better part of the past five years. We inconsistently followed the principles, but had a hard time committing. Partly because I hate being bossed  and for some reason following one specific way of eating translated into someone telling me how to eat which translates into someone telling me how to live my life. I would not say that I have overcome this weird idiosyncrasy; it’s more that I have noticed what happens when I follow the Paleo diet for a few weeks and then stop.  I don’t feel good. I am going to take this as my body communicating that it likes the Paleo lifestyle and that I should stick with it.  My husband does not have the same quirk about following a sound diet plan, but he LOVES bread and sweets.  This has been our struggle and the thing that prevented us from moving forward and following the Paleo diet.

About 6 months ago both of us became pretty fed up with the current state of our health so we decided to commit to being 100% Paleo this year.  We are 15 days into it and I love it. My favorite part is trying new recipes. The food is yummy and I love the challenge of making meals that fit the Paleo lifestyle and also fit our various tastes. A family of five is hard to feed, and eliminating sugar, grain, and wheat is a huge challenge, but so far so good. I am going to chronicle this journey and share recipes while I’m at it.  I made this today, for brunch. It is super easy to make pretty tasty to.

Shirred Eggs

Butter

4 Eggs

4 teaspoons minced Shallots

3 or four slices of uncured Ham (not lunchmeat, real ham)

4 custard cups

Preheat oven to 350

Spread butter around custard cup. Place remaining butter on bottom of casserole. Place scallions, followed by ham on the bottom of the casserole. Break an egg on top of the ham. Place the custard cups on baking sheet in oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flip contents onto a plate.

Enjoy!