We generally assume that people see us, racially speaking, in the way we see ourselves, that if I see myself as "black," say, or "Asian American," that others do too. But what about people for whom that identity alignment isn't in place? The mixed-race man who is often identified as White? The phenotypically Asian American woman who is "culturally black"? How does that experience of misalignment - or "racial incongruence" - shape a person's experiences and relationships? And how can parents, teachers, and other caregivers support a young person in these circumstances?
Special note: Usually EmbraceRace's Andrew Grant-Thomas and Melissa Giraud co-facilitate Talking Race & Kids conversations and the guests differ each month. But for this discussion, we changed it up and had Melissa join as a guest.
Watch the video conversation to hear discussion and insights from folks who, in one way or another, have lived this reality, and a certain someone who's also done some research in this area. The lightly edited transcript follows. We start with a panelist conversation, followed by community questions and comments. Jump ahead to related resources here or simply find them (and suggest others) at the end of the transcript.
My 6 and 4-year-old climbed into our car and buckled themselves into their seats. By all accounts, this was a typical pick-up from school and they eagerly ripped into the gummy fruit snacks I brought them, cheeks flushed from the end-of-day running with their friends.
Instead of turning on The Best of The Talking Heads, our current musical obsession, I took a deep breath and said, “Hey kiddos, I have something really important to tell you both. I’m not sure if you’ve heard the adults around you talking about it, but I wanted you to hear it from me directly. I was arrested at a protest where we were asking our leaders to count every vote and make sure the election was fair."