The enormous toll of undervaluing…

It must be so exhausting for people of color to have to keep explaining their experiences to white people. Last week, yet another young white man, filled with rage and hate, shot and killed people who didn’t look like him. This time, it was eight people in Atlanta, including six women of Asian descent.  Almost

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What are we going to do differently?

I cried the first time I saw images of her climbing the flagpole.  The images from that day show such fierce bravery and such determination for justice that they make me teary. At the same time, I feel so convicted by Bree’s actions that I want to look away. Last week, I was helping with

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When your children change the way you see things…

There is no doubt in my mind that adopting black daughters has given me a new lens through which I view the world. I see the details of our daily life differently than I did before.  For example, in the county where we live, there are lots and lots of cotton fields. In the fall,

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Who does she think she is?

Our daughter Elizabeth played rec soccer last spring. I’m pretty sure she was in it for the shoes, but we decided to give it a try. It turns out that she’s pretty fast and soccer was actually a good fit. There was a slight issue, though, with some of the soccer parents.  One dad regularly

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Just as much…

“They loved their children just as much as we love our children.” I was taking notes during an anthropology class in college when my professor said this. I looked up from writing because something about this statement brought me up short. The class was on Native Americans. Every time the professor would introduce a new

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God Bless the People of Every Nation

  Strangers regularly point to my twin daughters and ask me, “Where are they from?” An airport shuttle driver asked my husband Bryan a few years ago, “Did you get them from Haiti?” My husband responded, “No” and kept moving. I was a little embarrassed. Bryan answered the question, I suppose, but he wasn’t exactly

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What if Colin Kaepernick was Amish instead of black?

I’m fascinated by this whole Colin Kaepernick situation. When I first started hearing about his kneeling during the national anthem at the start of NFL games, I thought it sounded pretty reasonable. His statement, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and

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“Don’t Be Ugly”

I was born, raised and have lived in the South my whole life, but many of my friends are much more Southern than I am. My parents were raised in the Midwest and I think there are some Southern nuances that I didn’t learn. I recently asked one of my good friends how she met

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We should be appalled and we should also stop being surprised

What happened in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend is appalling and sad and discouraging. The fact that white supremacists have become so bold as to march in a college town, with no hoods or masks, is chilling. But it really shouldn’t be surprising. For decades, African-American men and women have been warning us that racism

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“It’s hard to be what you can’t see”

It’s not so hard to talk about the ways you’ve let your kids down once you’ve fixed the problem. It’s much harder to talk about it when you are still wading through the situation, especially when you feel shame about it.   I know that we’ve done a lot of things right with the twins,

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