Black Daddy, White Mommy

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Recently news broke about a Louisiana justice of the peace, Keith Bardwell, refused to sign the marriage licence for interracial couples. His reasons? Bardwell believes interracial marriages won’t last long and the children of these marriages will suffer. Furthermore, it’s his belief that neither black or white society is accepting of such a relationship or their children.

Clearly I have something to say about this. I am the “white” daughter of two white parents and I’m married to the “mixed” son of a white mother and black father. In the past I have gone into more detail about our multiracial family. I have no statistics to quote on the validity of the claim that multiracial marriages are far more doomed than any other marriage but I do have my own statistic. After 8 years, my husband and I are still married. Did we beat the odds? I don’t know.

interracial hands

What I can say is, as the partner in an interracial marriage, every single problem we’ve ever had has never had anything to do with our racial or cultural differences. In fact, our marriage has taught us to be more tolerant and balanced individuals. And yet, there are people to this day that seem to think our marriage is wrong.

But what about the children? Don’t they suffer and lose their identity? To that I would respond, what identity are you referring to? Last time I checked even the description “white” is no more than a melting pot of various ethnicity’s. My father’s family is a mixture of German and Indian, my mother’s family is a mixture of German and DNA only knows what else. Is that the identity they are referring to, because if it is, I don’t even have one!

If Bardwell is correct in believing our family isn’t generally accepted by the black and white community, that’s okay, because it’s not our issue to deal with. It’s theirs. If someone is upset about me bringing a happy, healthy child into this world, regardless of the color of their skin, then it’s time they examine their own issues. We don’t have any. We love our children as do our families and the community we live in.

Here’s the real question…

Why is it so wrong to have an interracial relationship and children?

I’m open to all opinions and debate, so please, feel free to tell me your reasons, but please do include some validity to your argument.

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  1. That is ridiculous – he should no longer serve in the role of judge if he cannot be impartial. His biases and prejudices are impacting his ability to effectively serve in his public role. As a judge this is unacceptable.

  2. Wow I can’t believe that this is still happening in 2009!!!! I married a Dutch man (who’s speak English and Dutch) Myself am a French Acadian, do we have cultural differences, yes we do!!!! First we do not speak the same language! But after 3 years a learn a few things. Our daughters (2 1/2 years old and 10 months) speak French, English and Dutch (Opa and Oma Stam speak dutch to them)
    My inlaws have 12 childrens, I’m from a family of 3 so that too was a culture chock! But we have two little girl and another baby on the way I guess putting aside culture and language aside we still make thing go well between us!

    Will our children have a problem with knowing if they are Dutch/French/Acadian/English, no because they are children of God and that is all that matters!

    Thanks for sharing this post!

    • See now I can certainly understand a language barrier but as it turns out, that’s a minor barrier that only brought an advantage to your children.

  3. pixie13 says:

    Stupid. This happened to my sister years ago. It’s hard to grasp sometimes that this sort of ignorance still goes on, but it does. This pathetic little man should be removed from office. Period.

  4. Cat, I’m in the same situation you are. I remember the standard question before I got married was, “What about the kids?” It’s a wonder I didn’t punch somebody.

  5. When I saw this article I posted it on facebook, but had to just kind of put it out of my mind because it makes me too angry. I am white, and my husband is black. We have a 9-month-old son (who is beautiful, I might add. Only one of the many wonderful things about an interracial person. Although I may be a little biased) =) and another little boy on the way. We definitely experience a few cultural differences in our marriage. (Our children’s name, being one of them. We have a tough time agreeing) But I think that’s what makes us stronger. I love learning about his culture and meeting all of his family members and friends. Our children are lucky to have such diverse backgrounds. I can’t say that they’ll never experience any problems trying to feel accepted by one culture or another, but that will most likely only be due to ignorant people, such as the man in this article. I feel blessed to have such a wonderful husband, and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter his skin color- he is who he is, and that is why I love him.

    • I couldn’t have said it better. And I think nature has a way for helping us along the way. I can say that it took over in the creation of my kids and grabbed a little bit of this and that from each of us to put together the best of both worlds in one amazing little person.

  6. Michelle Jadaa says:

    I’m from England married to a palestinian who was born in kuwait.We live in Canada have been married 21 years and have a 17 year old son.
    In our case most of the same race marrages in our extended family have ended in divorce yet we are still happily married:)
    I hope this guy was removed from office!!

  7. I have no idea how in the world in this day and age people can be so closed minded. I think that we live in a country that allows ALL people no matter what age, sex, nationality or heritage to be in a loving relationship or marriage. It is ridiculous to think that someone should be not be allowed to do so.

  8. I saw this on the other news and there are no words for what I felt except PISSED off. I mean seriously? No marriage because of race and we live in what country and what year is it? Just goes to show there is still ignorance in the world.
    Kasandria

  9. I don’t have any statistics, but I don’t *think* that interracial marriages have any higher divorce rates than do any other marriages. With divorce rates as high as they are, most marriages are doomed to fail if not build on a solid foundation, not race.
    As far as children having a hard time identifying with one race or the other, I do think that to some extent that is true. I have had seen it with many people that I knew quite well. I think that in the end, it might make them a little stronger because of having to search themselves and know what is inside of them more so than a child who MAY never question who they are or where they “came from” – That being said, I have still never met a person who could tell you that their family lineage is strictly one thing as far back as they know.
    I did not know that a judge could do that. I am not sure that it is appropriate, but it gives me hope that when gay marriages are legalized, there will be some judges who refuse to sign those certificates.

  10. anonymous says:

    Unbelievable. My sister married a man from Thailand and my parents were very upset and didn’t talk to her. Then they had a beautiful baby boy and fell in love with him and they have grown to love my b-i-l. I better me anonymous in this post.

    • That seems to be pretty common. We even faced a similar struggle with my own family, but in the end…it worked out as I had hoped it would and our relationship has forever changed the thoughts/feelings of a few people in our lives…for the better!

  11. I am Asian and hubby is white. we do get looks sometimes but it appears that people are more accepting of Asian mixed couples.Or maybe not and I just choose to ignore the stares. We have twin boys and one looks Asian but has really white skin and the other looks white with darker skin. if anyone were to mention race or the kid’s identify crisis to me, i will punch them. then smack them with a bowl of rice.

    • Thao,

      You made me laugh (“smacking w/a bowl of rice“). My husband and I haven’t met w/much flack (Caucasian dad and black mommy), but I do agree w/you that it appears Asian woman and white male relationships are more accepted even more so than WW & BM. Sometimes, there even seems to be a double standard within the interracial couple community where our union is least accepted or looked at as being a little off kilter.

    • “Smack them with a bowl of rice.” LOL I am at work and literally busted out laughing when I read this. Now people are peering in my cubicle. Too funny.

  12. I can’t believe people are so close minded. They say it won’t last, but truth be told who guaranties any marriage will last?
    Heck hubby and I are both white,we were both born in the same country in Europe…got married and guess what, even now after 5 years of marriage, one beautiful 4 year old girl, most members of our families think (hope) it wouldn’t last LOL
    It’s crazy to judge, to assume what if. I don’t see anything wrong with it, and who ever does is just plain crazy!

  13. Wacko judge. I saw this article the other day & was stunned that he is able to do that. He does recommend another judge for them to go to so they can get married. Bizarre.

  14. I was shocked to hear this. I think that in this day and age it is absolutely ridiculous! I have mixed marriages on both sides of my family and I do not have a problem with it at all. In the area that we live in, we do not see it at all. Up until about 8 years or so ago there was only one black person that we knew, who was an adopted son of a teacher. He was excepted by everyone but I can’t say so much about the others that moved into our rural area. I see no problems in interracial marriages. I would just like to know what the big deal is? Isn’t this Keith Bardwell supposed to not judge? What happened to that. This whole thing is absurd.

  15. I saw this news article and was absolutely appalled at that thought that a judge could abuse his powers and deny a couple the chance to get married based on their races. (I have since heard that they have a lawsuit against him, and I hope that they win.) I have a few friends who are in interracial relationships/marriages, many aunts AND uncles who are caucasion and a brother-in-law who is Mexican/African American and when we talk none of us see race. (Sure, some of us can appreciate an afro more then others, but still. lol) To base that one fact alone on why he wouldn’t marry that couple was him picking-and-choosing what he thought was destined to be a failed marriage. Has he ever married a young couple? (There are marriage statistics against that.) What about a couple where the woman was pregnant? (Even more statistics against that.) To me, this was just plain out racism and I don’t care how many “black friends he’s had over to his house for dinner.” Love is love, and true love is color blind.

    Take care,
    Shynea

    • Oh not just lots of black friends but “piles and piles” of them. Who uses the word “piles’ in reference to a supposed friend or person?

    • Cat,

      I read that again too. Piles of friends..I don’t ever remember referring to my friends in that manner and wouldn’t take too kindly being spoken of in that manner.

  16. Cat,

    You totally sidetracked me today. I was going to remain publically silent about this matter, but I decided to open my mouth too. I had another post up my sleeve for today, but felt compelled to write my thoughts on the topic. Even before this incident, I was reading a series about interracial relationships, marriage, and biracial children. I will admit that I’m not at all surprised by this man. He is one of many, but there are also quite a few of us here, today, who are in this decade and think a little bit differently. Since that is my life, I simply can’t find one thing wrong w/interracial relationships or biracial children.

  17. This is a problem that we (my dh and I) sometimes face as well. My dh is Mexican and I am a mix of just about everything, but mostly Native American, Irish and German. My parents were very unhappy when I married my husband and didn’t even come to my wedding. It was the happiest day of my life but also the saddest. I had no one there that spoke English and was so upset (we were married in Mexico with his family.) We sometimes get odd stares and glares from people when they hear my dh talk b/c he does have an accent. And the Mexicans are really looked down upon right now. The thing that gets me with this is that everyone to some degree is mixed with something else. My dh is 1/2 Mexican, 1/4 Irish and a 1/4 French and like I said, I’m a mutt of everything.

    It shouldn’t matter who you marry, where they’re from or if they’re red, black, white, purple or green. If you love each other then who is to say what is right and what is wrong?

    My parents came to love my husband as their son and would now do anything for him. People need to open their eyes and realize this is 2009 NOT 1940! Children no matter what race, mix or religion are loved by their parents and it is up to them to decide what is best for their family…not someone who has nothing to do with them or their future. That judge sounds like a jackass!

  18. I think that’s just ridiculous-Sure, there are people who might frown upon the union and there could be trouble from other people, but like you said that’s their problem.
    Honestly, I think these authority figures just look for things to enact because they want to flaunt their power.

    That is why I have such a problem with authority figures.

  19. My personal opinions aside–and for the record, I think it’s ludicrous!–I find it interesting.

    Where do personal beliefs and interpretation of the upholding of the law start and stop? When I was in college, there was a couple who made a big to-do over saying they were married to get an apartment in a woman’s house. The woman discovered that they weren’t actually married and evicted them on the grounds of her religious convictions, that they were living in sin and she was allowing it, thereby she would go to hell.

    If this justice truly believes that the children will suffer, then does he feel that he will have a hand in causing it should he approve of the marriage? Then does he have the ability to protect the children by denying their parents a marriage?

    The couple in my college town had their case taken before the supreme court and the court was on the third hearing while I was in school. The first time it favored for the couple, the second for the landlord. I’m sure this case will head to the higher courts, should it be argued and contested.

    As for actually protecting the kids, well I don’t really know. My husband happens to be the first white man I was ever with and the older generations of my family made awful comments about me and my companions. Even with our kids being half jewish my dad’s dad and stepmom make terrible jokes. My kids don’t care, but I do worry whether or not they’ll feel their jewish heritage. I wonder how their identities will be shaped, but I don’t ever doubt that they won’t feel loved and supported by us.

  20. I personally see nothing wrong with it. No matter the outward appearances of anybody — love can be achieved. That being said I ventured to and spent a lot of time in and with people in Southern towns in Louisiana and Texas. Unfortunately a lot of the older people you run across think this same way. Blacks and Whites. Tangipahoa Parish is quite small – 100k +/- is the population. (Parish – County) And the smaller the parishes, counties, towns the stronger the beliefs like these you will run into. A high percentage of them have been there their whole life. It’s really truly sad.

  21. It doesn’t matter what you do, your (in general) parenting choices are never right. Everyone always butts into everyone else’s parenting choices, so why would this be any different? Do I agree with it? No. You love who you love. As long as they’re a good person, who cares what color they are?

  22. That is just ridiculous. Yes there possibly some additional challenges to be faced with an interracial relationship but most of them are based upon made upon, stereotypical public perception. If you didn’t have to deal with the sideways glances and judgement from other people, you probably remove a lot of what makes it more challenging.

    My sister and sister-in-law both have mixed-raced kids but we never look at them that way. They’re just family…

  23. High five. I so agree! why can’t we stop looking at the color of our skin and just see A PERSON. That is it.

    I am what you can refer to as a Heinz 57 lordy knows what percentage of what nationality I am.

  24. Brittany A Scott says:

    White female age 14 black male age 18 deep south of the mississippi ! Lol that was my story 6 years ago ! My boyfriend and I broke up after 6 years but only for 5 months we are back together ! You would think we
    Would of been married by now but my parents would never sign the papers in fact they had stopped talking to me for 4 years [ In ms if your not 21 you have to have your parents consent to get married ] well we would of married years ago but it was while we were broke up that I turned 21 . We are back together but I have not told my parents mainly my dad who pays my bills schooling ext. This artical is not that surprising to me there are more racist then you think ! Even your local er doc like my dad could possibly be! I know I wouldn’t want my doc being racist of my race!

  25. Karrie says:

    I am white and my fiancee, who I have known for 5 years, is black. I have to say my family members are all taking it a little differently, but Im pretty sure deep down all of them feel a little indifferent about it. When I told my dad I was engaged (Since my fiancee is serving in the US Navy and I had to be alone in telling him) he did not seem too shocked. My fiancee and I are both still 19, and are getting married this month, which I thought would freak him out. However he GOT shocked when I told him he was black. Me and my fiancee are still following through with our marriage no matter what anyone in my family says because our love is definitely true love, and we don’t want anything more than to be together. He is the smile on my face and I always see the best in me when I look in his eyes. Right now the distance is almost unbearable. Besides, we are getting married to each other, not to my family, so ultimately all my family can do is learn to love and accept us as a couple. I cant even imagine going to get married and being told that we couldn’t because of our differences in skin color. NOBODY has the right to to tell someone else that there marriage will or will not make it no matter what color they are. Especially when they dont even know how failthful or committed they are, or what their morals are. It is just a huge shock to me and my fiancee. I am still so angry about it.

    • Karrie, without a doubt I understand what you’re going through and how it feels. The truth is, some people never change but others learn to and that happens with time. Give your family time to get to know him for who is.

  26. Re: Katrina’s post… “I did not know that a judge could do that. I am not sure that it is appropriate, but it gives me hope that when gay marriages are legalized, there will be some judges who refuse to sign those certificates.”

    Shouldn’t we be working toward tolerance for all lifestyles? All human beings deserve a chance for a lifetime of love and understanding. I am a white woman married to a wonderful black man and I am thankful that I live in an area that has accepted our choice, but at the same time I would like my gay family and friends to be able to enjoy the same equality.

    Love one another, look past our differences and into each others hearts to find our similarities.

  27. Morningstar says:

    Well it seems as if I am odds on this one. My daughter (white) is wanting to have a realationship with a black man. It is breaking my heart and tearing my family down. If you doing it or involved the problems are going to be next to nothing because you have already made your decision. But if your not there yet don’t go.It is a sin to bring children in the world who never belong anywhere. Their white friends are going to think of them as black and the black kids will either see them as or as unaccepital friends.Remember in the Bible in Hebrews when the people tried to build a Tower to Babel and God tore it down and destroyed the city. He said I will scatter you among the nations and you will not speak the same language. That did not mean He choose a race or even said we could not be friends with another but I was brought up to believe to marry with your own race. So you two that are in love are actually picking a world of hardships and problems for you children. It seems silly to make the statement – we’ll make it. It is the poor innocent kid who will have to struggle to deal with it. Ask The President what it was like to brought up as a mixed child. He memtioned one time showing up at a girls house for a date and he was realy excited because he really liked her. her father opened the door and slambed it in his face and told him to never come back.

    • I don’t know, I think interracial children are dealing fine in the world in todays culture. They’re accepted and, from what I’ve seen, have no problems. The only problems they have, if any, are with the parents of the kids they’re having out with but they’re living in the old days and can’t seem to move on.

    • I think you and I are reading a different bible. Its pretty sad when someone uses religion in order to justify racism.

      In fact, the lord said to love one another as we love ourselves. Im quite sure he didn’t mean giving a high 5. And while the bible does mention separating people based on believers and Nonbelievers, as well as touch on homosexuality, it does NOT talk about race.

      Additionally, I am quite sure if you read the bible and any other religious educational texts surrounding it, you will find that Jesus wasnt exactly white.

      Cat- the only people your children have to fear are people like this. Ignorant ones. Pay no mind.

      ~Trisha
      momdot.com

    • Umm let me tell you this, I am a interracial woman who married a white man and my son is therefore interracial.

      I have a great life and great parents. I have 3 siblings, all who are also beautiful, educated, wonderful people. One sister is a Oncology Nurse, my brother is a social worker in the streets of Philly, my other sister a wonderful mother to her “interracial” children and I hold a MBA. Not to mention, we are all attractive, beautiful people.

      No hardships here my friend. We are loved and love alike.

      Your comments are just ignorant. It is quite the shame that their are ignorant people like you in this world. Your white daughter is the one with problem and hardships.

    • You are reading one heck of a bible that none of us has seen. It is fine for you to have an opinion but do NOT use MY bible as your reasoning or excuses.

      You do not have to like it, love it or live with it…but do NOT shove your ideals down others throats and quote a bible to make yourself feel better and almighty. God is the only perfect being and you will never achieve his status.

      All people will struggle regardless of age, race etc. You cannot target a race or age for struggles. Doesn’t work that way. My kids struggle everyday with intolerance and not because of race but because parents chose to bring their children up without direction, manners, discipline and most of all RESPECT.

      I respect your opinion but do not respect the way you voice it using sources as the bible or president. Love is love. And oft quoted and very cliche — TRUTH HURTS == LOVE IS BLIND.

    • The reason God destroyed the Tower of Babel and made them all speak different languages was because they were trying to build a tower to get to heaven. It has NOTHING to do with different races. NOTHING at all.

      And Jesus Christ was an Middle Eastern man. The Bible describes him as having “hair of lambs wool” NOT blonde silky hair and blue eyes. I am pretty damn sure if God did not want the races mixing, he would have stated so in the Scriptures.

      Racism is a DISEASE that must be eradicated.

      My daughter is half Hispanic/Native American and I am white. The ONLY thing I fear for her is running into small. close minded racist people like yourself who use MY GOD and MY BIBLE to justify their hatred and vitriol.

      You would think that in 2009, with a black American President, this shit would not happen anymore. (Not that I like his policies, but still an accomplishment to break the racial barriers in politics) Sadly, ignorance is still rampant in this country.

      *sigh*

    • I am confused about why the president was even brought up. Ask him how he feels about being biracial? How about ask him how he feels about being the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES? You don’t get there unless you have confidence in yourself and who you are. I would think any hardships he went through only made him stronger and helped him be a better politician. He is an exact example of the opposite that you are trying to prove. I am white and my husband is black. “It is a sin to bring children in the world who never belong anywhere.” This state is so hurtful in so many ways. I have a beautiful little boy and one on the way. They absolutely belong somewhere- they belong to our family. Two parents who love them, grandparents who worship the ground they walk on, even great grandparents who growing up in the era they did in rural Minnesota accept and love them specifically because of who they are. They have the love of the hundreds of our friends and other relatives, and judging by the personality of my son, even though he is so young, I can already tell he won’t have any issues making friends and feeling accepted by most people. Not to mention that EVERYWHERE I go I get told he is “the cutest kid I’ve ever seen”. Can’t be all bad, right? My children are blessed to be brought up in our family. They get two cultures to learn about and enjoy. I’m not saying they will never run into any problems, but I ran into a lot of problems feeling unaccepted because I was over-weight. Is that really any different?

  28. I would prefer my daughter married a man of caucasian decent, but would certainly not give her a hard time, if she chose a man of another race, as long as he is a good man, with good values.

    My preference stems more from the joy it gives me, that my daughter looks so much like myself at her age, than from any social stigma or anything like that. I would like her to have the narissistic pleasure of the company of a mini-me , as well.

    My nephews are mixed race, and seem to be doing quite fine. My SIL has only on very rare occasions had any difficulties with people, over her marital choice. She is now divorced, but the ending of their marriage had nothing to do with race.

    We live in a nation with a high divorce rate, I think some people hand pick statistics to suit their viewpoint.

  29. I am a mixed, now adult. My mom is white and my dad is black. Born and raised in the south, where the KKK is the next town over. Yes, it was hard growing up in a divided society. But it made me more proud of who I am. That was in the 80’s and early 90’s. I moved to “the north” Illinois in the late 90’s to find a completely different culture. So many looked like me. Family reunions at the park included all skin shades, together enjoying each other. I felt comfortable there.
    I moved back to the south 4 years ago. Things have changed here some. The stigma is not as bad anymore. The KKK is still here though. My children have a dad who is black, they fit in well. They are proud of all of their culture white and black. Nobody looks at them differently. However, I am still asked the question “Excuse me, I don’t mean to offend you, but what are you?” My response ” I am human, what are you?” I was never asked this in Illinois.
    I think this judge is just an ignorant southerner. Unfortunately, the same as my white pawpaw. He is making a conclusion that has no merit. Is he next going to deny a black couple from getting married because statistically black men don’t stick around. These type of people make me sick to my stomach.

    ***I truly don’t believe that God meant not to marry inter-racially.

  30. People marry interracially all the time. They have kids. Nothing wrong with that. The fact that they divorce has nothing to do with race. Do the children suffer? Yes they do. But that happens in ANY divorce situation. I am a child of divorce. I know how it goes.

    The judge has no legal or reasonable standing on his reason for not marrying a black and white person. He should really be taken off the bench for it.

  31. wow OK now I normally stay out of discussions where people use Religion as a basis for their views but come on really? Let just say how you really feel without trying to quote something that isnt there KWIM?

    I was raised with family who sorely discouraged mixing of races hell when my brother first started dating my now sister in law who is Mexican and dark OMG you would have thought the world was ending. Fast forward 15 years and they are still together and the family accepts her. My husbands is mixed Mexican American and I feel the only reason we are cool is because my brother took all the flack first.

    I cant say what is right or wrong for anyone but myself, but I would never make my family feel badly for loving someone no matter what color their skin is even blue with green polka dots! If they are treated well then whats the problem. And kids getting picked on yeah maybe 50 years ago but today its getting harder to find children that dont come from some sort of mixed parents!

  32. I will try to be very Christian in my reply to commenter 27, however it is just this kind of racism that makes me sick.

    The Christians who want to use the bible to spread division and inequality are the same ones who used it to support slavery. Jesus made it his mission to to show that we are to love each other period. And that there is not separation between races, classes, sexes, age, ect. Jesus’ whole message was on not discriminating.

    And just to add to Trisha’s comment that Jesus wasn’t white; that’s right all those paintings of a beautiful white man with blue eyes and flowing wavy hair are wrong, it fact the bible says he was ugly in Isaiah 53:2!

    Oh, and the man who led God’s people out of slavery and into the promised land, Moses, was married to an African woman.

    Rasicm was there in that too, Numbers 12:1 shows that his family had a problem with Moses being married to an Ethiopian woman, but God did not! You might consider reading all of Numbers 12 to see how God dealt with their racism.

    And on the topic of the president having the door slammed in his face, it wasn’t because he came from a biracial upbringing, it was because the father saw a black man standing at the door!

    Any child raised with love will grow up to be secure loving adults, period!

  33. I have nothing to say other than interracial children beautiful.

  34. ^are – you can fix that Cat :)

  35. I haven’t read all the comments but I am in shock on a few that I have read. I am the great grand daughter of an awesome lady (whom my daughter was named after) that was brave enough to see past all boundaries and marry the man she fell in love with, regardless of him being of a different race and nationality – he was Jamaican (black) she was Scottish (very very white). And that was back in early 1900s…imagine the scrutiny they went through.

    As for those that use religion to say that two people of a different race cannot marry, in a country that support freedom of religion, your religious views mean NOTHING to me. That is YOUR religion and should have no barring on what I or anyone else does with their life.

    That’s my point of view.

    Cat, you raise those children to be PROUD of who they are!! My grandmother and her sisters had to live in shame because others told them they were not equal to them due to their background…us grandchildren stand proud and boast that we are a mixture of very wonderful cultures and backgrounds.

    ARGH, this makes my blood boil!

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