The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Thursday, August 09, 2007



While driving carpool to school I catch the tail-end of an anecdote my daughter’s friend is cheerfully relating to her “… and then the paint splashed on my face and my cousin said now I’d have to be his slave because my skin was all dark!”

My own brown-skinned, seven-year-old giggled hesitantly along, clearly confused about why this statement made her uncomfortable.

By the time I exhaled (did she really say what I think she said?) they had moved on to other subjects. I knew it was an innocent remark, but it continued to bother me.

Maybe I was being too sensitive.

When my daughter was born in Ohio, we chose to make her a U.S citizen rather than take on our nationality. We chose this for all the reasons any immigrant chooses America. It’s a country of unparalleled rights, opportunities and comfort, unlike any other place in the world.

Her friend’s guileless remarks made me realize that we have also invariably committed her to a nation where she would spend a lifetime walking a “should I be offended?” line.
Where she would always have to process what she hears and choose whether to take offence or not.

She will have to decide when to “lighten up” and when to speak up.

It is here in the U.S. more than any other country I have lived in and understandably so given its history, that racial complexity is constantly discussed and deconstructed in such depth and dimension. And this in turn has made me more aware of racial nuances in ways I never thought of before.

And though there are times I agree that there is too much emphasis on being politically correct, there is also a flip side where this melting pot of races and cultures can burn someone in the most unintended ways.

By the time she grows up, glass ceilings may have been shattered, diverse presidential elections may be the norm and this all may have dissipated to be replaced by other pertinent issues.

Our own lives are testament to how we cannot predict what the future holds.

So I hope and believe that this nation we have put our faith in for its many admirable qualities, will validate on all counts that we have made the right choice.

By Tania Malik


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