Reason 11. Sanctuary is a place of refuge. For many people of color, being in their own communities (however broadly or narrowly that community may be defined) is an escape from the rest of the white-dominated world. While I welcome your children into my community, I wish sometimes that you would be more respectful of what “sanctuary” means.
An ethnic, racial or religious community is not an exotic backdrop to add spice to your life. It is not a playground. It is not a place to stare at all those people who don’t look like you. It is not a tourist attraction. And by the way, I think it is disrespectful to take pictures of people when you haven’t asked their permission.
It is also not a place for you to constantly be questioning, probing and examining. We did not adopt you. We are not responsible for your education about race and racism or anything else, for that matter.
If you truly want to be a part of the community, perhaps you first have to understand that may not be always totally accepted within the community. Yes, I know that’s a conundrum. And it’s a difficult truth. But it is what it is.
Your children cannot learn anything about being a person of color simply from looking at people of color. If that were true, you could just stay home and show them pictures. (Which is kind of what buying dolls of color and storybooks with people of color in them is akin to.)
Finally, if you want to interact in the community, it will take more than just coming to the events and going home when the fun is over. Did you ever wonder who carries all the drinks and food to the parties? Did you ever wonder who cleans up and takes out the trash at the end? Did you ever wonder what it means when you’re replicating privilege in environments of color?