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New Orleans Begins Removing Confederate Monuments

After the 2005 Federal Flood, signs started to appear on telephone and electrical poles around New Orleans that said: Think That You Might Be Wrong. There was a randomness to their placement, which added to the mystery. The signs were around long enough that they began to be altered. On one sign, prominently placed on a […]

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April 26, 2017 - 12:13 pm

Rachel - Hi Gluten – I think that there are Holocaust museums and African American history museums and places people can go and see the horror that humanity has caused. I think for some to go to a museum and see that there were once monuments celebrating White Supremacy and Slavery is a powerful teaching tool. I also think that the MAAFA gets little press but it’s one of the most moving experience you can have in New Orleans and I wonder about all of these people claiming we are erasing history – have they ever participated in the MAAFA?

April 26, 2017 - 12:10 pm

Rachel - Hi Erness! Yes, please use and share anything from my blog. I’ve been working on a book so have not been posting as much here. Tin’s shirt says RACISM IS NOT OVER BUT I’M OVER RACISM. Lots of love, Rachel

April 26, 2017 - 5:01 am

Cedric Valeary - I’ve had the privilege of participating in the MAAFA in Congo square. Along the walk through the city, We stopped at different locations where slaves were bought and sold. At St. Augustine church there is the tomb of the unknown slave honoring those who perished under slavery in America. There are numerous sites along the way depicting the times of slavery right here in our city of New Orleans. I enjoyed the MAAFA. It was very educational and I would suggest all to participate at some point. I am a bit confused about history. If you were part of a struggle and you win but there is no history of your foe, Did it happen? The Welcome Table was supposed to be about racial reconciliation, Whatever that means (no one wanted to really talk about Race). To me it means that, it is not about me, it is about YOU and it is not about YOU ,it is about ME. May be we both are WRONG!I will say this that if they are really offensive DESTROY them. If not they will always be a topic to speak on and see. Out of sight ,out of mind.

April 26, 2017 - 3:36 am

Erness M. Wright - I wholeheartedly agree with Julia! I particularity love the entire paragraph that ends with “Open your mind. Learn. Open your heart. Listen.” Julia is right — this paragraph defiantly nails it! So simple & direct, and more powerful coming from someone whose skin color is recognized as “white” in USA. This blog definitely warrants more exposure! Would love to share this paragraph with groups I work with, (only with your permission). Please copyright it – so anyone who reads it or uses it must acknowledge you as author! This clarity is what we need to teach our children (and adults) in schools, social media, via non-profits, in churches, etc… rather than using words that elicit strong emotions that results in dividing & demonizing people,forcing residents to “choose sides”. I appreciate your wisdom – well said.

And, What are the words printed on your son’s T-shirt at the beginning of the article? (Some of them I just can’t decipher!)

April 25, 2017 - 10:32 pm

Rachel - Well that got me to snickering Michael – but I’m actually in favor of no monuments to men – or women – but instead monuments to values that never go out of style – love, peace, and kindness.

April 25, 2017 - 9:11 pm

Michael Goodwin - Pull down Robt. E. Lee and replace with a statue of Lee Dorsey. Then we can continue calling it Lee Circle.

April 25, 2017 - 8:29 pm

Rachel - Thanks Ms. Julia!

April 25, 2017 - 6:26 pm

Julia A - You hit the nail on the head, side, back and all over!

The Elephant in the Playground

Yesterday was my son, Tin’s 8th birthday and party. It was a free for all at the new Sir Cumference playground in City Park. We had pizza, veggie sticks, cookie cake, balloons, and the ubiquitous juice packs on ice. I kept looking around and seeing swarms of children coming through either with a soccer ball, […]

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March 7, 2017 - 2:20 am

Rachel - Thank you Laura. I think that I’m more able to be generous with someone else’s ignorance because I’ve come to see how ignorant I have been in my life of many things. My own lack of understanding of how misogyny played a role in why I identified more closely to my brothers and father than my mother and sister. My own inability to see how I was contributing to racism by not seeing it. How would a child know anything unless he was told this or filled in the information gap with some experience in his own life? I appreciate your comment. Love, R

March 7, 2017 - 12:58 am

Laura - You handled that beautifully. I only hope that as/if the need arises in whatever situations come our way, I can be as fiercely protective of my child while being as mindful as you were of the child on the other end. I promise you he will never forget what you just taught him.

March 6, 2017 - 10:45 pm

Rachel - Thanks Cheryl, I got a feeling when I made eye contact with the boy, the way he reacted to me, that something else was motivating his comment other than curiosity. I hope he came away having a different perception of adoption and how mothers who don’t look like their child love and protect them as fiercely as mothers are want to do. I remember when I was young, the whole adoption fantasy flying around in my own thoughts. My father and brothers were so dark, with such prominent “Jewish” noses and curly dark hair and I seemed like I was plucked from a different garden.

March 6, 2017 - 9:59 pm

Cheryl Corson - Thanks for writing this! And then there are children who fantasize about being adopted, wishing for new parents and a fresh start, or who pretend that their biological parents are not really theirs. When my husband was a child he told people he was “from France.” It’s a powerful fantasy for those on both sides of the equation. Maybe that boy wished for a mother who really wanted him like you want Tin, and was projecting his feelings of unlovability outward.

Thank you, Donald Trump

I was knee deep in a women’s march that was by everyone’s estimation mostly white. A lot of white women were in the streets, with signs, pink pussy hats, and a look of determination on their faces. My thoughts couldn’t help but go to a place I did not want to go – where were […]

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January 31, 2017 - 4:05 am

Rachel - Thanks for your comment. I’ve tried to look at this a number of different ways. What if I had not adopted an African American child, what if we had not entered this twilight zone that first began with hashtag deaths of our sons and daughters, what if this country had not elected a glaring racist? I keep finding myself in the same place, I’m the white mother of a Black son. I said a few years ago that I was prepared to meet people where they are at, even if where they are at is not where it is at, and I continue to say this. You talk about white silence, I write about white silence and my complicity in it. We have a common enemy now – the Lying King and his Merry Men – I’d like to believe that whatever got us to this point where we are all standing up, showing up, and speaking up for each other – whatever it took us to get here, is irrelevant. We’re here and we may not have known for a time what we wanted, but we’ve bonded together on what we don’t want.

Thank you for being who you are and for using your own truth, your reality to speak up. You are strong and brave, and we need you now more than ever to tell us what you know.

Lots of love, Rachel

January 31, 2017 - 1:49 am

Michelle - I think being a white woman I can speak from my perspective as to what is happening from my point of view, not for all of course. I feel thwarted. I’m scared to share my thoughts and feelings. I cry every time I read another story of a person dying in my city of Chicago. I cry when I see the loved ones of those being shot down on the streets or mysteriously killed in jails. I’m right there. But for me my voice is stuck in my throat. It goes back to when I was brought up, like many of my fellow white women. “Be good.” “Keep your mouth shut.” You are not a good wife if you are not the wind behind his wings. Don’t speak up at the dinner table when your father-in-law is on a rant about “Those people.” Those people can be any shape or form that he has felt wronged him.

From my research, I have found that of course white women didn’t have the right to vote until even after black men. Although, we know the black man’s vote wasn’t a free vote for a very long time, white men thought very little of an educated women. Some white women’s voices were stifled by the fist of their husbands and it was accepted. My first marriage was almost 25 years ago and was one of those such relationships.

In my family, the quieter and more cooperative women are held on a pedestal. Don’t cause waves. Don’t cry. Don’t think. Don’t be competitive. In other words, Trump lives in many of our families.

Training has a lot to do with our actions. All people’s actions. Sadly, it does not reflect what is in our hearts. The Women’s March gave us permission to be “Nasty”, the name marchers gave themselves after hearing Trump label yet another woman with a voice.

I can’t speak for all white women. As with anything group, 1 person does not speak for all, but I can say for myself, my daughters and my inner circle, we just needed the strength of each other to pull each other up. Black women to us have the most amazing voices. We sure could use your strength to teach us how to find our voice. I think you would be amazed.

January 30, 2017 - 5:00 pm

Rachel - Tracey – I’m guilty too. Until I saw through my son’s eyes, I was complicit in ignorance and holding up the status quo. Welcome to the march for all, sister.

January 30, 2017 - 4:43 pm

Tracey Wehunt - We are here now! I apologize for those who weren’t outraged for the murders committed by some officers of the law.I do understand your outrage and disappointment for our lack of outrage but we are here NOW! Please accept us….we come in peace.

Jesse Williams Pays It Forward with BET Speech

I would like to give a standing ovation to Jesse Williams’ parents. When Williams took the stage last night at the BET Awards and delivered truth bombs in rapid succession, I heard years of parenting that had gone into his education. Both of Williams’ parents are educators, and clearly, their star student is their son. […]

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When Doing Good Hurts

I’ve been a part of the Welcome Table New Orleans initiative as a participant and as a facilitator since 2014. Last weekend, I was able to experience some of the fruits of that effort. I got to participate in an education forum designed by the Central City Circle that involved four local schools coming together […]

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May 23, 2016 - 12:25 am

Rachel - Joycelyn Green Askew WOW Rachel Dangermond, great article. When I retire my goal is to be a CASA volunteer, this article giving me a lot to think about.

Rashida Govan: I read your piece, Rachel Dangermond. The struggle is real. We get no days off. The stakes are high for mamas. And we’ve got to speak up.

May 22, 2016 - 10:52 pm

The story always begins with an ending | Dangermond.org - […] Tommy’s beach house in Bay St. Louis and write, I did. Two essays – check. A blog post on Transracial Parenting – check. And the beginnings of another chapter in the […]