There is so much going on in the world that makes a person feel so unsettled especially having young kids who have so many more years of growing up to do. For me, the past few months have brought so many questions to light in terms of where do we actually belong and what is the best place for my kids to be. The realization is we will always be the minority race group especially as we don't really fit into any one group, we are Muslim in a world that fears Islam and we have raised kids who openly express themselves. So, what does this all mean? It means acknowledging that we will always be unique from the rest of the "group" and that we are more than okay with that.
I notice my kids being excluded in the communities we live in. I notice the school system initiate programs that don't take into account the small group of kids who are not white. I notice sports coaches with such an unconscious bias that not only do they not realize their actions but get offended when you raise it with them. While all of this drives me crazy, and at times to the point where I think living on a remote island, home schooling the kids and running a surf shop would be the best solution; I know that is not realistic. Discussions about diversity is part of our everyday dialogue at home. We need our kids to know the type of world they are facing and how to deal with it and not to shy away or walk away from conflict about who they are. We cannot hide from the many families around us who think race is not an issue because they really don't need it to be. It always amazes me when friends in my community seemed shocked at the idea that the notion of embracing diversity and ensuring inclusion does not always exist around us or that we may have felt the impact of racism in this picturesque village we live in.
Like every other parent out there, we make a decision to live somewhere with great schools, safety and opportunities for our kids. We then have to make sure that in this world where many will not accept our kids based on what they look like or their religion, that they will be strong enough to stand up for themselves and be proud of everything that makes them who they are. I cannot be responsible for the behavior and actions of others, but I can make a difference to my kids by making them aware. We choose to do this because our kids lives matter.