First of all I want to thank Pastor Kevin Pringle for doing this 5 part interview with me. I respect him as a man of God, a godly husband and father. I admire his willingness to share his story with me and my readers.
If you missed the first four parts, Part 1 Kevin shared about experiencing racism as a child, Part 2 Kevin shared about facing racism in the church, Part 3 Kevin shared about what the church can do about racism, and Part 4 Kevin shared about what individual Christians can do.
This one is deeply personal for him as you will see in the question. I have shared all 5 parts unedited.
Again, THANK YOU KEVIN!!!
As a husband whose wife is white and a father with children who are ‘mixed’ what concerns do you have for your wife and for you children?
I intentionally reserved this question for last! The reason being, is centered around the uniqueness of our family dynamic and the pride I take in who we are now and who we are becoming. At the inception of my wife and I’s marriage I sincerely believed our children could experience the best of two worlds. My wife and I were intentional about ensuring our kids understood they have a white heritage as well as one that is black. We wanted them to know and understand they were equally white as they were black and race identity, in their case, was at the very least trivial.
I must admit, I was naive in my thinking… Unfortunately, the world around my kids does not see them as part black/part white. They only see them as black! As a result, my children identify as black. I’m not overly concerned they see themselves this way but I am concerned that the world does. My wife and I have two sons and two daughters. My concern for my sons comes naturally because statistically, it is far more dangerous raising a black male in our country than any other race (hence the reason we began this discussion 5 weeks ago).
There are realities I’ve had to teach my sons about being black in America that I likely would have been able to bypass had they been identified as white. When my oldest son was in high school he had to deal with racial discrimination from teachers and administrators. I don’t want to go into detail about those incidents but it was clear he was “profiled” because he was one of a few black students in a predominately white school!
My 2 daughters, unfortunately, faced abrasive and derogatory slurs from peers that left them defenseless. My opinion may be biased but I consider my daughters as two of the most beautiful women I know. However, they have been told they were pretty for “Black Girls”! Why does pretty have color as a disclaimer? Beauty is beauty regardless of color!
In regards to the concerns I have for my wife, there are few! I say this because Beth is one of the strongest people I know. She is clear and unwavering in her choice to love me!!! My concern for her rests in her concern for our children. She was never to tolerate anyone profiling or stereotyping her kids! My wife has a tenacity that is unmatched and offers me tremendous strength in my weaknesses. In many areas she is less naive than myself. She understood far better than myself that our children would be identified as black. She also knew she would suffer judgement when with me or when she was with our kids without me.
There was a time when our kids were small, she was out with the four of them without me. She was approached by an individual and they ignorantly assumed she was a single mother that had been abandoned by their black dad! It goes without saying this did not go well… I would love to share her response but it would need to be censored, LOL! Needless to say the individual was unlikely to make that mistake again!
As we close our discussion I want to thank all of those who have engaged in our conversation and shared their replies…Blessings to you all and I hope you’ve been encouraged!