Parenting brings out different ideals and morals in a person. You see things in the way you hope your child will see them and are more aware of the things you say. With my first child, I definitely learned to watch my language at least in speaking out loud. You also learn that every action you perform, they learn. They learn everything from you, but I think that mostly you learn from you children.
With my new addition growing inside, I notice that I’m more aware of certain issues this time around that I didn’t need to worry about with my first. My first son is a majority, a white male. My son waiting to enter the world will likely have more challenges we’re both going to have to walk through for the first time, since this society is still a society that struggles with race issues and people who are different. My unborn son will have to hold his head high while slurs are tosses at him because he’s Asian. They’ll hold the skins of their eyes and make a squinty face to imitate him, and mispronounce words because that’s what they see on TV.
Even more, I think about the internment that took place in World War II. I think about the terrorist attacks and how that made our country view Muslims. I get scared thinking about those things, because it makes me wonder what happens if we end up in a war with North Korea. I worry that my children and husband will be taken away just because their lineage is Korean. I worry they’ll get thrown down stairs, have eggs tossed at them, have our house vandalized because we live in a closeted xenophobic society. And by closeted, I mean hidden as well in the closet as Clay Aiken was.
More logically, laws similar to the one being discussed about immigration in Arizona and how if they become widespread how that will affect my family. I would’ve said before who cares if they want to pass a law they think will work though it will probably make racial profiling acceptable. Now I sit there and think, “how do I feel that a law like this means that my child can be pulled over just because he’s Asian and needs to prove that he’s American. Do I need to make him carry around his birth certificate so some tough guy cop doesn’t bully my child?” Lawmakers say that it won’t increase racial profiling, but that’s like saying it just seems like anyone with tan skin and a beard gets stopped more at airport security.
I hope for the sake of my children that I’m being skeptical and paranoid. Maybe things will change between now and then, and maybe I don’t have to worry about the cruel world I’m bringing them into. I can hope that I raised them well enough to not retaliate violently and stand up for themselves in a positive way. Mostly, I can hope that the world is a little more tolerant in the future.