Racism rant

Not sure what my problem is, but if I share politically/socially controversial things on FB, I start feeling like I’m imposing my beliefs on other people and usually end up either swallowing the guilt or deleting the posts.  If it’s something I think is actually very important, I’ll leave it up, but right now I’m just going to vent here.

The New Yorker just shared this article on their FB page.  It’s about a lesbian couple who are suing a sperm bank for $50,000 because the bank did not give the mother the sperm she had requested.  I can understand being upset about that sort of thing; I would imagine that family health history would play a part in choosing a donor, and this negates that planning.  However, the article details other objections that the parents have to raising a mixed-race child, such as having to go to a black neighborhood to get the kid’s hair cut and worrying about being able to send her to an all-white school.  The article says, “The complaint emphasizes that ‘all of Jennifer’s therapists and experts agree that for her psychological and parental well-being, she must relocate to a racially diverse community with good schools.'”

My thought is — the kid does not care what color her skin is.  If the parents care SO MUCH that they are suing the sperm bank over messing it up, that just tells the poor little girl that she is not good enough, that her parents would love her and want her more if she was white, and that it is inherently better to be white than to be black or mixed.  These are some of the worst messages that parents can communicate to their children, and the fact that they are concerned enough over this to go to court does not even seem to try to mask their racism.

The article notes that because the mom is a lesbian, she has experienced ostracization and she did not want her daughter to have to go through that with her peers.  First, the fact that the daughter is going to grow up with two mothers puts her out of the “norm” anyway.  Second though, and maybe I am nothing but a sheltered white girl myself, but I don’t see how this is even applicable.  Mixed-race people are not fighting for rights the way that homosexual people are.  I agree that neither of these things should be a reason to pass judgment on an individual (the color of your skin is as much your control as the color of your eyes, or your sexual orientation) (actually your sexual orientation is even less your control), but all I can think of is how horrible it would be to discover that your parents had sued a sperm bank because you turned out to be the wrong color.  The article quotes — “Jennifer does not want [her daughter] to feel stigmatized or unrecognized due simply to the circumstances of her birth.”  Seems to me that if the mother didn’t want her daughter to feel these things, that she would accept her fully as her own daughter and not even mention the color of her skin.

Sometimes I suspect that people who have grown up feeling stigmatized are more likely to stigmatize other people.  But again, sheltered white female here.  What do I know.  I just observe.

In no particular order, a list

1. If you do not use your turn signals when driving, it means a) that you are self-centered and not thinking about any of the other drivers out there at all, and b) that you are an idiot because a good chunk of car accidents are caused by OTHER DRIVERS.  I get irrationally upset about this sometimes.  At the moment, I am feeling very calm about the idiotic, self-centered drivers around town so I just wanted to make a note of this.

(But for real, use your turn signals for crying outloud!!  Sometimes I wish I lived somewhere with a subway.)

2. Oh, did I mention that I finished reading Hannah Coulter?  I don’t think I did.  Went to Cafe Coco the other night, but only stayed about an hour – long enough to finish the book but not long enough to get a coffee refill (just as well since I wasn’t sleepy until 11 as it was).  I had neglected to check the weather, as usual, and realized that we had tornado watches and thunderstorm warnings only after a gust of wind knocked a tree limb onto a car parked in front of the coffee shop.  I packed up and left shortly thereafter, not being one who enjoys driving through inclement weather.

But anyway, the book was sooooo so good.  I absolutely LOVED it.  I left it at home or I would type up some of my favorite quotes.  I loved the book for several reasons, but one of the biggest was the picture that Berry paints of a community – of a “membership,” and of belonging to a place and to a people.  It’s so easy these days to isolate yourself from other people, and to not care about the place where you find yourself (physically).  I rent my house, so I don’t really want to put the time and effort forth to really care for it like I would if I owned it.  And I have always been a loner, so it’s second-nature for me to go off by myself instead of interacting with real people.  I tend to read about people in books or on the internet, rather than getting to know them one-on-one.  Which is my fault, and not something that I’m proud of.  I find that it’s actually somewhat difficult to talk with people one-on-one, though, because for whatever reason, people are caught off-guard when you open up to them and try to get them to open up to you.

Anyway.  I need to spend more time reflecting on the book, and I would like to go back and re-read it at some point.  I think I might do Jayber Crow first.  Or I might switch to some Asimov, as I’ve been meaning to do for a couple of years now.  Or, I’ve also been thinking about picking up the book of Nabokov short stories again – or even reading one of his novels.  Should give Pnin another shot.  I might go to Cafe Coco again tonight, as when I try to sit down and read at home I regretfully don’t get very far before I’m distracted by something.  (This is especially true with Ryan being there….)

3. Have been wishing to be back in Windermere with Katie lately.  Since I can’t do that, it makes me want to explore new places in Nashville, or go on a road trip.  (Alas, I’ve been trying to be fiscally responsible lately – after spending $50 at the Southern Festival of Books last weekend…ha….. – which means not going out unless it’s cheap, and not going on any road trips unless they are also cheap.  Plus I don’t have anyone to go on road trips with me anyway, as all my friends are busy… grumble.)

4. Ooh!  I forgot!  There are 5 pay periods this month, so I’ll have an extra pay check!!  I should really go back to forgetting about that, though….  Use it to save up for a new computer or something.  If anyone wants to get rid of a perfectly well-functioning Macbook, let me know.  I’m not getting anything with Windows again.

5. I haven’t seen Stephen in about a year (biggest exaggeration ever, but I enjoy hyperbole), and my indifference for the CMA awards has moved into a personal displeasure at their existence.

6. I need new glasses.  Or new eyes.

7. Have started (finally) brainstorming Christmas present ideas.  This year won’t be as much of a failure as last year – though I think you people liked your gifts last year at least moderately well.  But I’m going back to making stuff this year.  And I would like to be working on that right now, instead of passing the time by writing boring blog entry lists.  Once I’m finished (i.e. run out of things to ramble about), I think I’ll start making a list of supplies that I need (etc).  I’m fairly good at lists.  Or anyway, I enjoy them.  Organization and all.

8. Actually, I think I’ve run out of stuff to ramble about now.

EDIT: Just saw this on FB, and it goes perfectly with point #2. I really would so much love to build a village like this, maybe Pegram area, or Joelton?  Totally do-able.