White KC mom of mixed family on why she constantly checks white privilege

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2016-08-09 18:19Z by Steven

White KC mom of mixed family on why she constantly checks white privilege

The Kansas City Star

Aaron Randle, Culture Writer

  • Amanda and Kenton Campbell have a mixed daughter and adopted son from Haiti
  • “I’m so past the warm and fuzzy point,” the 36-year-old mom says

Amanda Campbell is ready when you are.

Ready to get uncomfortable. Ready to share that article on your Facebook feed about why “Black Lives Matter” is necessary. Ready to explain to you why “All Lives Matter” is not. Ready to check you on your white privilege.

“I’m so past the warm and fuzzy point,” the 36-year-old mom says, exasperated, as she leans back in the sofa in her Brookside living room. Her husband, Kenton Campbell, 33, who is black, lounges his 6-foot-3 frame on a chaise to her right.

Their mixed-race daughter, Jocelyn, 5, with cocoa butter skin and a head full of curls, lies across her lap fiddling with a baby doll. Isaac, 8, their dark-skinned, Haitian-born, adopted son, is in the sunroom around the corner toying with a video game.

“When people are like, ‘I don’t want to see (race), I don’t want to hear about it,’ that doesn’t exist for me,” Amanda says.

“Post-racial America” can try to be as blithely colorblind as it’d like. That isn’t an option in the Campbell household. Race permeates the fabric of their existence.

Amanda recalls the time her aunt, who’s also white, told her “she doesn’t see color.” Amanda began to tell her that was a load of crap. “Well actually, Aunty, being colorblind is …”

That’s when Kenton, feeling his wife about to enter “White Ally” mode, tugged at her arm to reel her back in.

“He was like, ‘Don’t go there!’ ” she says with a laugh. “But it’s like, if I don’t go there …”

The sentiment is understood: If Amanda or any other white person who gets the complexities and struggles of black America doesn’t take the opportunity to educate other whites in casual white-privilege moments, who else will?

“I’m ready to talk about (racism). But overall I would say 90 percent of America is not open to it,” she says. “I’m not a percentage as vocal as I’d like to be, but I know that if you are too much, and some people think that I am, that there’s a wall that comes up. It’s a constant balancing act.”

For the Campbells, everyday life as an interracial couple raising both a mixed and black child requires skillful straddling. On one hand, Amanda gets weary of having to educate others. But then again, as the sole white member of the family, she feels an obligation to operate as an ally and advocate, to call out prejudice when she sees it…

Read the entire article here.

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