Interracial Families in Commercials

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I am missing a lot in this post. I could have a series on interracial depiction in the media (and maybe one day I will make that happen). For now, I am posting about an incident that occurred in 2013. I wanted to state my opinion when it happened, but I didn’t have a blog at that time. In June of last year Cheerios debuted a commercial featuring an interracial couple and their bi-racial daughter. This Cheerio’s ad sparked a lot of controversy because it was garnering a lot of negative racial comments. Unfortunately, I cannot find them at this time. I’m more than sure that some of these posts were made by internet trolls (because Youtube is full of them) who did not have anything else to do but stir up trouble. With that being said, I will not ignore the fact that racism is still present in America and is seldom addressed head-on. Just because it is often addressed as not a main issue and dismissed does not make it not a problem. My husband recently told me that when we are together, holding hands and walk by black men or a group of black men, he gets strange looks and glares. I’ve never noticed them, but then again I wasn’t paying attention. Maybe America wasn’t/hasn’t been paying attention. Race and interracial relationships are taboo topics in America because of America’s rather troubled past of vile conflict between races (and not just Black and White).

I am glad the Cheerios ad was created because it is showing a make up of a family of people that exist in America, but aren’t necessarily equally represented in the media. It caused a stir. It caused people to talk about something that has often been pushed aside. It is like we have been operating under the guise of  “if we don’t talk about it, maybe it’ll go away”. That may be true, but based off of the past, the only change has come is when people make the change.

Early this year, Cherrios debuted a Superbowl commercial with the same family, despite all the negativity that ensued the first time. The funny thing is, that this time there wasn’t an outbreak of foolishness, but anoutbreak of support for cheerios and ads just like it. Swiffer brought about a new commercial in 2014 that has an interracial family. The Swiffer commercial has an added bonus controversy, by having the dad as an amputee! Feel free to watch it below.

I am glad the Cheerios ad (and the Swiffer ad) was created because it is showing a make up of a family of people that exist in America, but aren’t necessarily equally represented in the media. It caused a stir. It caused people to talk about something that has often been pushed aside. It is like we have been operating under the guise of  “if we don’t talk about it, maybe it’ll go away”. That may be true, but based off of the past, the only change has come is when people force the change. Families come in all colors, and have an array of different origins which help make this nation the “tossed salad” of diverse people it is. Let’s celebrate America’s diversity as much as we can!

Just for fun: Watch the “Kid’s React” to the Cherrios controversy. It is great.

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Throwin’ Shade

This topic may bother people a lot. It pertains to race and discrimination within a race.

Last night after I had my own personal Senior bar crawl, I arrived back to my apartment to one roommate sobering up and another who didn’t go out and drink at all last night. I proceeded to tell them the stories from my night. Somewhere along the way race got brought up. Which isn’t all that strange in Black environments, I believe. I wonder why that is… Oh! I remember how race got brought up. I said “One of my preferences for males was a Hispanic who speaks a particular Spanish dialect (or rather doesn’t speak a particular dialect).” My roomies gave me a WTF look and I began to state my case. In short, my argument was I like what I like. They still weren’t getting it. Instead of saying Hispanic, I used Black people. Black people (or just people) within the US have an array of dialects. It is perfectly okay to not be a fan of a Jersey dialect or Louisiana dialect, as long as no insinuations are made strictly based off of dialect. Unfortunately, I don’t think this kind of objectivity is always used when interacting with folks.

Along that same vein, I stated I also have preference for White males, obviously because I am married to one. I actually have a complex scale scale of what I am attracted to. Rule of thumb is attractive males of all races are at the top of my scale. I went a little more in depth about my scale and I said “I have a preference for Black men too, but they have to be my shade or lighter” and this caused an uproar. They called me racist against my own race, thinking back in the slave days, etc etc.  One thing my roomie said caught my attention, “I wonder where people get that mentality.” I told her I knew where I got mine. I got it from my grandmother who was a very light skinned woman and she was steadfast in not wanting dark kids or grand-kids. It’s ironic that her longest relationship was with my Pop-pop a pretty sun-beaten man. I know what you’re thinking, “That’s awful!” Yes that’s awful, I can acknowledge that. She had a prejudice that was probably instilled in her from long ago. They asked me “Why continue that tradition?” I said that “I have been just programmed that way. I’m not hatin’. Darker you are the less attractive you are to me. Just a preference.  I am not saying anything bad about them. I just don’t have a preference for darker men.”

There is beauty in Blackness. I have seen very very attractive dark men (see Morris Chestnut). I would still flirt with them if I wasn’t married. It is legitimately easier for me to find someone of a lighter skin complexion attractive, though. I, then, pose a question to one of my roomies “How is my preference any different than your preference for darker men, or men with dreads?” She states “I guess I just like black men.” Hm, that’s cool, but she has told me previously, a number of times, that she doesn’t find White men as attractive relative to Black men. I’m not going around ranting about “Oh, you are racist because you don’t find as many White guys as attractive.” So, how is this any different?  I ask you the reader, how are my preferences any different than hers? Why do I get an onslaught of offensive statements? Why am I being treated like I betrayed my race, by not liking something about it? I legitimately think everyone has preferences, whether they tell people, is a different story. Just tossin’ my thoughts out there.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Me, my madre, and two sisters.

Ohhhh, kill ’em. 90’s family pic

Here is a special post dedicated to my mom.

It is a Sunday afternoon and I’m laying here in my living room watching a movie with my family. I have a final exam on Monday, an additional exam and a paper due on Tuesday. I’m a procrastinator, sooooo I haven’t started the paper or studied, at all.  I should be at my dorm or the library, but I’m at home. Even though I have a ton of things to do I wouldn’t want to be anywhere, but here with my mom on Mother’s day.

I have a story that’s dear to me and is remotely related to my blog. It is the story of my husband asking my mother for my hand in marriage. Traditionally, it is customary for the man to ask the father for his daughter’s hand in marriage. I believe the reason for this is because the father is typically the keeper and provider for his family. The reason we didn’t do that is because I am not close to my father. I figured why should Chip have to ask for permission from a man who didn’t provide or keep me?  Anyway, before I get on a rant into my story. I was getting picked up from home to go back to school. Chip and I discussed the option of getting engaged, but I told him he would have to ask my mother. Her opinion means everything to me. Once he arrived he came into the house and gave me a kiss.  He was nervous and pretty sweaty. Soon after he came in, he asked if he could talk to my mom alone and pulled my mother outside onto the deck. The rest of us were left inside. I knew he was going to ask her that day, but no one else did. After about a minute or two. He came back in with a sigh of relief.

My mother hugged me tight. She said as long “As you are happy, I am happy.”

We then  proceeded to tell the rest of my family that I was going to get married. Later in the car, Chip, told me what happened in those moments outside on the deck. He said he had never been so nervous in his life. He went out of his way to tell her how much he cared for me and wants to take care of and protect me. He told her he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me. After he asked my mom to marry me, they both got a tear in their eye. My mom gave him a long hug and they came inside the house.

My mom has always been there for me. She a successful, single mom and has provided everything my sisters and I ever needed and then some. All she has ever wanted for me is the best, no matter what race or color he was. Unfortunately, I couldn’t say the same for my father (who STILL has an issue with me being with a White man). The main concern is love.  She wants someone who can love me for me and can provide all the things she has. I can’t ask for anything more, I love you mom. You’ll always have my heart.

Blog challenge: Food post

Roomie Dinner

Photo capture and editing by my roommate, LaCreisha Phillips

Mixing food up is a beautiful thing! One of the benefits of being in an intercultural/interracial relationship is the inevitable combining of cultures. Each person can bring some part of their upbringing to the table. For an extreme example, consider the possibilities of cultural exchange when an Mexican and an Korean get together. Both cultures can bring some awesome foods to the forefront that their partner may not have had.  My apartment-mate last semester was a Korean exchange student. While she was here she developed a romantic relationship with a Mexican exchange student. She often cooked Korean noodles and used authentic spices in her dishes. I tried her noodles (pictured above in the top left corner) and they were UH-MAZING. Her love interest, came over to eat very often so he must’ve liked it, as well. He would occasionally cook for her and it was adorable watching them connect over how they both like spicy foods and drinking beer. It was, also interesting watching their expressions when trying a foreign food. I think their food exchange, opened up their minds to an array of different foods they may have never gotten to taste other wise.

In my relationship, I don’t have any extremely ethnic examples of food exchange like the one above. My husband and I, enjoy breakfast to great lengths so, there is an exchange in foods in that area. Here’s what my husband had to say about this topic as it pertains to us.

Me: “How does it make you feel when I cook you breakfast”
Chip: “It makes me feel delightful, babe”
Me: “Why”
Chip: “It makes me feel loved”
Me: “Why”
Chip: “Because it makes me feel like you care more about how hungry I am all of a sudden”
Me: “Okay, let’s try this a different way, how did you feel the first time I made you breakfast?”
Chip: “Like my world has opened up”

Aww, isn’t he sweet? Guess what I made him. Scrambled eggs…with cheese. His mind was blown. My mother had always cooked eggs a specific way and I didn’t know the rest of the world didn’t cook it in the same manner.

1) Mix eggs in a bowl; 2) salt and pepper eggs in bowl; 3) cook the eggs on a pan and consistently scramble them; 4) when eggs are cooked thoroughly, turn off heat; 5) mix in 1 slice of American cheese per 2 eggs. Fin.

One of my favorite breakfast foods, is a food my hubby has never tried; scrapple. I know I’m about to get some hate on scrapple, but whatever, it is amazing. Scrapple is popular in very specific areas, mainly in the rural parts of mid-Atlantic states. My husband has moved around a lot, but he is pretty much from the south so he didn’t even hear of it before I told him. I am looking forward to seeing how he likes some of my Eastern Shore culture.

RA_Original_1

Photo obtained on RAPA Scrapple website

My husband has made cultural food contributions to the relationship, too.  Unfortunately, he shares his food techniques very rarely. I’m not certain he had an opportunity to learn family recipes or old Irish foods that reflect on his family origins. He didn’t grow up in the riches parts of the deep south, so he does have a certain finesse with cheap foods (eg: ramen).  Struggle bus culture, maybe? Anyway, one breakfast egg dish (just because, I love breakfast) he has graciously shared with me is called eggs in a nest.

egg-in-a-nest-recipe-photo-420-FF0400COOKA05

Photo Originally appeared on Family Fun magazine

To make eggs in a nest you can 1) use a cup or a cookie cutter to cut a shape into a slice of bread.  2) Butter the bread or lightlybutter the pan (as if you were making grilled cheese). 3) crack egg into the cut out shape. 4) allow egg to cook to your desired consistency (fried hard, sunny side up, or runny). You should be able to pick the bread up and the egg should not come out of the slice. It tastes lovely. There are many ways to tweak this recipe and make it our own. I had never heard of this in my life, but now I think I’ll be making it into a family tradition for my future kids.

Are there any foods in your culture or family that are important to you? You should share and exchange these foods with others outside of your culture. Help create a more diverse palate for food and cultures for everyone around the world. Feel free to share some of your unique dishes below.

The internet never forgets

Embed from Getty Images

In class last week ,we read Delete by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger. The reading talked about the importance of the human brain being able to forget especially in the digital age. The presentations in my class on Delete are my inspiration for this post.

The internet. A wonderful, vast, comprehensive database that sucks my soul into an endless vortex of randomness and joy.  I love the internet. It remembers things for me. It gives me knowledge. It is always there for me when I need it. It makes me laugh. It makes me cry. It is life, it is love. There is a saying that the internet never forgets, and in a sense, it is true.

Remember last week when I told you my husband and I were arguing while he was underway? Well, the reason for this argument started off of a long forgotten or rather hidden memory of my husband’s past. For his sake, I will be vague about our issue. It all started with boredom and the random feelings of loneliness. Whenever my husband  goes away I tend to creep on him and unintentionally on his past. In my most basic form, I am a creeper. It’s just in my DNA. When I need a creepin’ fix Google becomes my greatest companion (Facebook is also helpful).  Usually when  someone creeps on a person or subject they may want to find the most relevant information. Unfortunately (hm, maybe fortunately), the internet gives you all information on the subject at once and allows you to filter through it for your specific wants. While I was filtering, I stumbled upon something my siggy (and ultimately, I) wanted desperately to forget. He may have purposefully blocked this specific memory out for various reasons. It was a time in his past he wanted to forget, and I cannot blame him. It was one of the most troubling things I’ve heard in a while. This is where the “virtue of forgetting” comes in, sometimes we forget and overlook things on purpose that can be traumatizing to us or do not coincide with how we perceive our current selves. It was a deep, dark potentially relationship altering secret, that I didn’t know about! I’m his wife. There are certain things that should be exposed before I make a life-long commitment to someone, it’s kind of important. Why did I have to search to find out things about my husband? Out of mind does not mean it is out of sight (especially for a skilled researcher, such as, myself). Just because he wanted it gone, doesn’t mean the internet will comply. It is a “living organism” that holds all secrets you give to it and it has the power to resurrect anything with accuracy. As shown in Delete, perfect memory can debilitate. Even though the memory of the internet is perfect, it rarely gives context or intent of the information. These are things the viewer must find out themselves.  I relied on my husband to give me context and fill in the blanks for me.

There are some things I am still struggling with. Part of being in a LDR, is the requirement of trusting your partner. What do you do when trust is broken? Your partner has a past. In this day and age, there are probably traces of their past on the internet. Should you judge your partner off of recent actions or past actions? Should their siggy know about this past?  All the information I learned  is still fresh in my mind. Each time I go back and look over emails, the feeling of hurt overwhelms me. It is similar to getting punched in stomach all over again each time I see it. Yet, every time I look at his smiling face and eyes of sincerity and seemingly good deeds, I can’t say I don’t believe in him or…in us. Sometimes, I wish I could just forget. That way I can make rational decisions based on the most recent and wonderful things he’s done for me and with me. One of the key functions of memory is to learn and change or keep your actions based off of what you learned. I keep reminding myself that he isn’t as trustworthy as I thought, but is that a fair assumption? My mind says “Yes, the evidence is right in front of you! Act accordingly.” Trust is a fickle thing, it is easy to prove someone broke your trust, but how is someone to prove that they have been trustworthy? Maybe, he is a better man than he was before.  Is he worth me taking the time to find out. Call me crazy, but I believe so.

What do you bloggers think about some of the questiosn I asked? How can someone prove they are trustworthy and loyal to you?

 

5 tips for Dealing with Military Deployments

My husband is currently underway (aka Navy deployment on a ship). It isn’t a long deployment, just two weeks. Deployments are usually not that rough for me but, it has been very hard this deployment. We have been arguing lately and it’s making everything rough to manage. So I’m back with a new 5 tips post on how to deal with deployments.

First and Foremost

1. KEEP YOURSELF BUSY.

I cannot stress this enough. Love has often been compared to an addiction. When your significant other is away the obsession or addiction to this person doesn’t just stop. Productivity levels go way down and you start to feel like Mindy in the gif above. You find yourself not engaging in social activities as much as you used to. You are used to having this person around and now you have to fill that time.  You have to keep your mind busy with a task at hand. If you have school, go to school. Focus on your assignments. If you have work, go and get your money. If you have children, take care of them. If you want to get your body back, go get hip-hop abs and work it out. Many military bases have a family readiness group(FRG) you can join, which have social events and support for military families/spouses. (Side note: can we acknowledge how creep that froggy 101 thing in the background of the gif looks?)

2. Do not look to be comforted by people who are the same sex as your partner.

This is nothing but trouble. I do not care if you’ve had the same best friend for 20 years, if your partner is away DO NOT confide in that friend if they are the same sex as your partner.  Feel free to disagree. Cheating is like an infectious disease in the military community. There is a lot of temptation for both parties. Try not to give your partner a reason to be weary or allow yourself to become emotionally attached to someone else.  There is also rampant paranoia that either the military member is cheating while abroad or the spouse is cheating with Jody while at home. When you are so far away from your partner there is usually no way for your partner to accurately monitor your activities. When there is idle time, the mind roams to the worst possible situation though it may not even be  true. Next thing you know, you were out strutting around in a pink cocktail dress that had a 3/4 slit up the side with this guy named Jerome who you went on a date to the fair with and brought back to your room for dinner and dessert. And you are like…

A lot of justification for cheating in a military relationship is that “I know/I’m pretty sure/I heard that you were cheating, so I will cheat too” or “when the wife is away the boys with play.”  Just remember that you are with this person for a reason. If they haven’t given you a reason not to trust them, give them the benefit of the doubt that they will overcome any and all temptation.

3. Try not to have serious conversations via email (sometimes you don’t have any other choice).

https://i1.wp.com/www.roaringpajamas.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/No-Yelling-on-Email.jpg

This is pretty self explanatory. Some things need to be stated in person. When your military member is on deployment they have a lot of stressors already from, ya know…getting shot at, getting yelled at, doing manual labor not relevant to the position they trained for, shooting stuff,  getting drunk, hanging with Hong Kong hookers and getting the clap, purposely shooting themselves so that they can get out of the deployment, ya know, the usual. Some of these stressors are actually serious. Regardless, their jobs require focus and when their relationship is in shambles or they think it is in shambles that is added stress which could actually endanger your siggy (I just made this up, it’s my new word for significant other).

4. Find people who are going through the same thing as you.

File:Glee group hug gif.gif

Original image by RedVelvetSarah off of victorious wikia

For a long LONG time, I wanted to find a community that was dealing with some of the same things I was. Sure, I could talk to my family about how I miss my husband, but nobody actually knew what I was going through. Long distance military relationships weren’t my family’s specialty so, any advice they could give me would be limited. I went on Facebook and joined my Husband’s ships FRG and it’s great being in the know about events going on related tot he ship, but also have an unlimited library of people who were going through the same thing I was. When their spouse was/is deployed so is mine.  I connected with my husband’s family, because I know when my husband is gone everyone he usually communicates with is in the same boat as me.

5.  Talk about and look forward to the positives in life.

While deployed most military members don’t have much to be happy Plan a trip when your military member arrives home. Go look on Groupon or Living Social for events in the area. Talk about the UNGODLY amount of sexual intercourse you will have when they return. Talk about your day and the positives that have occurred. “YEAH I got an B+ on my exam paper for ENGL488B!”

https://i2.wp.com/www.elle.com/cm/elle/images/o9/elle-happy-moves.gif

That piece of good news can cheer up your partner. You both have to remember, it’s only temporary. There are things to be happy about.

Credits~

HT: for Mindy Project gif

Jimmy Fallon gif found on elle.com

 

My President is Black?

Disclaimer: Although interracial-ness comes in many shapes and forms, I will be focusing on the combination of Black and White. The following will probably be a bunch of irrational nonsense. Whatever.

Even though we all know races like Black and White are only social constructs, that have been constructed. Race (with this definition) has become its own living entity. It exists now. Unless we all have our brains wiped out and history erased, race will be around as long as the Human Race is around.

Obama and his family

A young Obama and his family in the 1970s obtained via Wikipedia.com

Now it’s time for a ….rant!

My President is Black. I’ve been troubled about this statement since Obama became president. My President is Black. Isn’t his mother (who raised him alone) White? Oh, but his Dad is African. My President is Black. How can that be so? He would be half white and half black. My President is Black. Black+White ≠ Black. He is both races. Maybe I’m just arguing semantics. My President is Black…My President is White…My President is Mixed.

I really wish Obama and the country would acknowledge that he is not just Black. It has become a more interesting issue for me because of my interracial relationship. Why do I even care? I guess because I don’t want my kids forced to choose one race. I feel like this is an issue many interracial couples deal with. If I have a child with my husband, is the child Black? Is it even possible to do that or must we pick sides? Are we donly Black or White by self-definition? What defines a Black person?  Does the one-drop rule dictate who is Black and who isn’t? Does skin color or African features define a Black person?  Are the races of the parents relevant in deciding who is African-American? Is it all really just Black and White?

Let me introduce some complications: If we are supposed to be over racism and be somewhat more evolved why would we adhere to the one-drop rule? What if the father of a child was mixed (B/W), but identified as solely White? Then that person procreates with a White woman. The child has Black features, but White skin, is the child White or Black? Maybe this is when Mixed is an appropriate term? Are Mixed people the only people who can create mixed children? Are they not just as much Black as they are White?

What White to Black DNA ratio does it take to tip the scale for one particular Race in the genetic make-up? Take a look at Tia Mowry-Hardict and Tamera Mowry-Housley and their families. In case you aren’t familiar. Tia married a Black man, the other twin, Tamera, married a White man.  Please take note: Tia and Tamera have a White father and Black mother. So they are Bi-racial. They both had children. Cree (3/4 Black, 1/4 White) is Tia’s and Aden (3/4 White, 1/4 Black) is Tamera .Check out their kids, Cree and Aden [Cree left, Aden Right]. What race would you define them as?

Another way (and probably more politically correct way) of saying mixed is interracial or bi-racial. Isn’t my President interracial?  Obama was raised by his White parent/grandparents. Is it not offensive to completely disregard half of his racial make-up (especially the half that actually raised him.) I’d feel disrespected if my child didn’t claim their Black heritage. I do not think it is right, for that child to not claim their White heritage, as well.  Sure my President is Black…and White. He isn’t one without the other. He is both. My kids would be both. The idea that bi-racial people are one race or another, irks me. Maybe I should just embrace the idea of self-identification, ignore linage and bloodline. Whatever. In my mind, Obama is and always will be America’s first Black and White President. That’s it. /endrant