“How do you love your white parents?” One of my very good friends casually dropped this question into my universe the other day. I was surprised but not offended. This question has come to me in many different forms over the, almost 28, years of my life.
Often the question comes to me as a statement or a retort, “Thola! But your parents are white!” just in case I forgot. Or, “Thola, your boyfriend is white!” Because I can not see how different our skin is when we lie naked together or fold our fingers into the warm, safe clasp that is handholding.
I realise that there are many people who see me as a lover and supporter of all things black, which I am, generally. I see now that this has further confused congested minds. My blackness and the support thereof does not alter my ideas of white people as individuals. That, dear friends, would be racial generalisation which could lead over time, to racism.
I love my parents because they are my parents. If my parents were King Cobras and they loved me, fed me, looked after me and protected me I would love them because that is what parents do. The fact that King Cobras have angry faces, spit venom, bite, kill and just generally want to bring harm to me, would not affect my relationship with my King Cobra parents.
SOME white people also have angry faces, spit venom, bite, kill and generally want to bring harm to me and people who look like me, but that does not mean I fear white people as a whole. Again that would be a racial generalisation. Jokes aside though, supporting blackness does not mean hating whiteness. That opinion is old, dated, proven wrong. I am bored by the idea of even having to write that down or explain it.
How do I love my white parents you ask. The same way anyone in the entire world might love parents that love them. A lot. From the bottom of my heart. Without selfishness. Honestly. Unashamedly. Quietly at times. Childishly. I love them, unashamed of their whiteness. I love them, in awe of their bravery. I love them openly and with great pride because they are mine.
We could go into a long discussion, but that would mean me taking the time to educate you by using myself as some kind of ‘Western-structured’ textbook. This is my life. I am living it, learning from it and expanding. Educate yourself. I do not have time to educate you.
How do I love my white parents?
I love them. I should not have to explain why or how. I love them and that is all.