So as a white woman married to a black man and raising a biracial child I’ve had to unlearn a lot of things. I’ve also had to LEARN twice as much. I’ve had to become aware and start to notice things my mind never would have before. My husband, Walter, and I were recently discussing these things and here’s a list of all the things we’ve encountered:
-I have to drive basically anytime we are leaving the Dayton area. We don’t talk about it each time, we just both know that if we are leaving our general “safe” area and heading to smaller town Ohio roads I’m the one driving.
-I have to handle store clerks, returns, getting documents signed, anything with any federal building or administrative work, I get further with any type of “paperwork” thing that needs handled, people listen to me and are much more agreeable than with him.
-The chances that we find a Black or Interracial couple on a greeting card are SLIM. Unless you want to give the same Black Couple card every year, which we have 🤣. There are hundreds of white couples to choose from though!
-My husband goes out of his way to be nice and talk to EVERYONE. Not because he’s a people person, but because he has learned that a 6’5 Black man intimidates people and so he overcompensates by being overly friendly so people won’t be afraid of him.
– If Walter is pushing the cart I always have to have my receipt ready when leaving the store.
-None of our neighbors thought we owned our home, multiple neighbors stopped my father and asked him if he was the new landlord for us. Because of course, the old white man must have purchased the home. Not only do we own our home, it’s fully paid off, we have no mortgage and we paid for it BY OURSELVES.
-It took us YEARS to find a church without racist undertones and low key racist members, YEARS!
-When doll shopping our daughter gets 25 white options and 1-2 black or mixed race doll options.
-The same people who stop us daily to say how adorable our daughter is, are the same people who would cross the street if Walter was walking alone.
-We avoid all places with confederate flags.
-If we go to Bob Evans (or any restaurant that caters to “seniors”) too early we are met with a lot of stares, the old racists eat between 4-5pm.
-When Walter goes to a playground with our daughter he constantly stays by her side, if not he gets stares and people wonder what the “big black man” is doing on the park bench.
-Walter is concerned our Black Lives Matter sign by the door will make us a target when he is not home so he asked me to remove it
Now this post isn’t to make people say “oh poor you, I’m so sorry” etc etc. we have a wonderful life and are thankful for it. But…changes need to happen. This is just a small glimpse into the intentional and unintentional racism that happens everywhere, all the time. I want a better world for our daughter so I’m happy that things are changing. I know a lot of you are tired of the protests and tired of the changes and tired of people complaining. Well I’m tired of having to find a different gas station when the one we drive by has two trucks with confederate flags and 6 white boys in sleeveless shirts standing around outside. I’m tired of my husband having to talk to everyone and never complain even when they mess up his order 10,000 times, I’m tired of driving Damn near everywhere, I’m tired of the sick feeling I get when a cop pulls behind us, I’m tired of having to worry anytime my husband has to work OT and leaves in the middle of the night, I’m tired and I’ve only been on this ride 7 years, imagine a lifetime of this!
-I hope when you see those images on the news of riots and destruction you also remember that the majority of those protesting and fighting for rights are just regular folks like us who want our hearts to be seen. Peaceful loving families who just want a better world.
Due to the overwhelming response to this post we have created The Chandler Crew blog and Facebook page to connect with those who are interested in reaching out. Please Join us to continue the conversation and follow along with our daily lives. Thank You!
photo cred: Dan Nichols Photography
9 thoughts on “So As a White Woman…”
Nice to meet you Chandler Crew. You are a beautiful family. I live in Wisconsin but was mostly raised in Mankato, MN. I’ve been married for 44 years. My husband I have 3 children who have blessed us with 9 grandchildren, ages 19 down to 2 yrs old. I’m still working, I’m an LPN working in a clinic for SSM. The military has been a big part of my life. My father was a WWII vet so the first six years of my life was living in MN to California to Midway Islands back to California before dad retired and starting working for the post office. But it didn’t stop there. My husband served almost 28 yrs with the National Guard, my daughter 20 yrs my youngest son will be retiring soon with 20 years and my older son served in Navy and a brief time with Air Force reserves. I volunteered over 20 years with the Family Program. I have enjoyed meeting people and helping people of so many nationalities both through the military and work. I have been honored to know so many people and cannot a persons color should matter. Walter you sound terrific and I am honored to know about you and am flabbergasted that you and others have to put up with such behavior from people. I was raised in an environment where there were very few people of color. And see that I’m lacking knowledge about a great injustice. I pray that I will continue to learn end know that your have my respect. God bless.
Hello Chandlers, thanks for the glimse into your “everyday people” life. I find you very inspiring and support your struggle.
I live in Switzerland and in Germany (its complicated). Black folks here aren’t treated the same way they are treated in America, but there certainly is racial bias in the police. Still, there aren’t as many people getting beat up and rarely does someone get shot by the police or anyone else. No one has guns, besides the police and people from gun clubs. No one I know owns a gun! (But that’s a different discussion).
In my surroundings we grew up listening to hiphop, funk, reggae, blues and soul. Most of my friends are or were skateboarders (I’m 44 years old), there is no black, white, or asian there is just culture.
I have lived in the Staates and found a hidden unspoken form of racism (or at least a racial bias) in certain areas amongst white people I feel uncomfortable with. It’s not like that here at all. I could be wrong though, it’s my subjective view within my family, friends and job surroundings. Maybe xenophobic or racist people know that I don’t buy into their shit, so they stay away from me.
Stay strong, keep your frequency high!😄Sven
Hello Chandler Family,
I was touched by your story and experiences from racial bias, which I and my family have experienced a lot as well. My mother is Asian and my father is Black. Plus we spent the majority of our lives in the South (USA)…and we’re still here and love it (the South is not all “KKK” like some think). But we have been discriminated by Whites here, and also by Blacks and Koreans who are married to White men and even Koreans in Korea. In Korea, when we were off base and needed to catch a taxi, my mom would have my siblings and I stand a short distance away while she hailed a cab because the cabby may not want to pull over for people of color. Some of the Korean ladies in our small community who are/were married to White men looked down on us because our dad is Black…even though my dad and siblings and I are more successful than their husband/kids. I have felt discrimination from some Black people who saw me as Asian…one hairdresser kept me waiting 45 minutes twice…either that was discrimination or she was terrible at making a schedule. My family and I can identify with Walter having to modify ourselves or our behavior just so we can receive a little more respect/equal treatment that a White person would receive. Thanks for speaking out and sharing the less noticed types of racial discrimination. I think it will help all of us to examine ourselves so that we can make changes one person at a time, starting with ourselves. By the grace of God, we can change. (And this issue is bound to get better in years to come in light of all the racially mixed kids who have been born and continue to be!) God bless and keep y’all.
I’m sorry that you deal with all this on a daily basis! Just so awful; it feels like we haven’t come very far. This really saddens me that you have changed your lives so much so that you can feel safer or to have some sense of normalcy.
It’s so important to figure things out for your family. I’ve always said I can’t live in an area that discriminates my family. Always look at the different ethnicity in the country.
Thank you for this insight into your daily lives. It definitely inspires me to continue the conversation in all the ways I can.
I am so glad I found your page. I had no idea the discrimination and micro aggressions that existed until I was standing in it with my hubby. Discrimination is almost always invisible unless you’re standing in it. I’m mixed but I look white to most folks, which is to say I’m very fair that and my height are about all I inherited from my Welsh grandmother. I encounter racism but it was rarely aimed at me – until I pointed out I WASN’T white. Oh the betrayal. You aren’t what I assumed but my husband is mixed and darker. Most assume his coloring is Hispanic and his hair black but nope. Once we got married though….stuff he took for granted I thought was just a bad day or him being cynical, well there’s no denying it now. I still remember the shock of it really hitting me for the first time that it was DANGEROUS for him. He was holding our infant daughter whose lighter then he is, and he was comforting her. When she’s sick its always daddy she wants, in a Walmart parking lot, circling our nice car, patting her back and humming to her while I ran in to buy her meds and a new outfit without a second thought. Until I came out and saw the crowd of people surrounding him, threatening him. The employees calling him a pervert and trying to take my baby from him- ‘good folks’ calling the cops, lying and saying the say him steal both baby and car. I thought he was just a nervous dad always worried about being alone with her in public and he looked so helplessly furious that he couldn’t even comfort our daughter for ten minutes in peace. Most of those we know think we are both cynical, that I’m too harsh, over dramatic, seeing things that aren’t there. They don’t see that I have to deal with school officials, county and state docs, ANY docs, that our bank refused to put him as the main account holder in our bank despite the fact I wasn’t even working – everything has to be in my name if they are going to need to talk to the primary. Utilities, our apartment – and they don’t see the abuse my daughter has faced in two separate schools in under two years because staff lost their minds when my husband and I both attended her Christmas play. My kid has been sent to the ER because a teacher realized mom looks white and dad doesn’t. My daughter is six. We need change and asking with our heads down and quietly isn’t going to get it. Nobody who chooses hate chooses to stop because you asked nicely. The only way we end it is to make it stop. We can’t be quiet to get there.