Thursday, October 23, 2008

BarackO


A couple weeks ago we went and got our Obama yard sign. This was a big deal for K & O since they have become obsessed with looking for Obama signs on the side of the road when we drive anywhere. They ignore the McCain signs but whenever they spot an Obama sign (which is about every-0ther-sign around here) they scream out "Barack-O! BarackO! BarackO!!!" jumping up and down in their carseats and pointing and chanting at the tops of their lungs. I don't know how they came up with "BarackO" but I think it is absolutely cute as can be. Their car-riding back-seat "Baracko"-shouting would make a great ad for the Obama campaign... that's for sure. They seem to kind of 'get it' (as much as a four year old can) that this guy might be our next president -- and that their parents want him to be. And they definitely get it that this guy "has brown skin like us!" I am so glad that this is happening in their life at such a young impressionable age. Sure, there will be backlash and negative ramifications of all this. But still... whenever I hear my boys shouting out "BarackO!"... I am vividly reminded of the impact and the long-term ripple-effect of this election for beautiful brown-skin kids like Kyle and Owen. They probably won't remember any of this, but I'm going to try to remember to at least be sure they see the photo above someday.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

AWESOME!

Erin

Jen Ogren said...

Hi Heather and Braydon,
I often read your blog and enjoy hearing all about your family. All of your children are beautiful. I love this last blog! Very cool.
I have thought of you often over the past couple of months and keep all of your family in my prayers.

Claudia and John said...

Way to go Kyle and Owen. We got our sign about a week ago too. Wish you were old enough to vote along with us.

Love and Hugs,
Claudia

mmc said...

How awesome!
I'm going to work for him this weekend, and friends of mine got turned away in Vegas because he actually has TOO MUCH help. Gotta love the excitement over this election.
-molly

Jen said...

awesome...I LOVE IT!
HOPING for an Obama landslide...
:)

Karen Vitek said...

I don't know if you remember this or not... When you were about 5 or 6 years old we had received a shipment of government surplus food at camp. One of the favorite things that arrived was #10 cans of peanuts! Ask your dad, this was his favorite thing!! You were skipping past the girls cabins singing, "We've got Jimmy Carter's peanuts!" It was just as adorable as your boys. The three of them are all so precious!

Anonymous said...

That is so cute. I love the shirts! I am glad to know that my children are not the only ones obsessed with Barack. My 10 year old boos everytime he sees a McCain sign. They took turns trying on the Barack mask at the costume store. I will be praying for a landslide as well!

Denise Peters said...

I wish kids would be taught "not the color of skin but the content of character" as well as they are taught that some guy has "brown skin like us".

Heather said...

O.k., I rarely comment to the comments, but I gotta say:

* Hi Jen Ogren!!!

* Karen V-- Yes, I remember that!!! I remember the Jimmy Carter peanuts and all the creative things that my mom came up with to do with them. My favorite were those chocolate-peanut-cluster things! Remember THOSE?!?!!!!!

* Denise: FYI-- K & O were not "taught" that Obama has "brown skin like them"... this is an observation that they made entirely on their own and initiated on their own. It is also a huge source of pride for them. Character, of course, matters. But the world is not color-blind (nor should it be-- it is wonderful to recognize and appreciate the brilliance of our colors!)... and kids are no different than everyone else----- THEY NOTICE. It isn't a bad thing.

HBJ

Phyl said...

That was a wonderful answer Heather...some people just don't get it. Obama for President!!!!!!!!!!!!

Deb Chanah said...

Having read your blog for awhile now- well, it is really hard to see any hope for "unity" in this election aftermath with parents gleefully reporting their kids are booing the other side and so on.

Too bad, we keep wondering why things do not change when we keep teaching our kids to disrespect the views of those who are different. Ideology or skin color, doesn't matter if you think about it, respect should be color blind and equal opportunity.



Deb

Anonymous said...

O.k., seriously now. I've been reading this blog for a good long time. I have never commented. But I can't hold my tongue anymore. WHO are these people? Denise? Deb? I'll bet my life that they AREN'T BLACK. Well, I am. And Deb, Denise, let me tell ya- color blind is only something that white folk who just.don't.get.it. flaunt about. Color blind?! Come on now. Seriously now. If the J-M's raise these boys to be "color blind" they are setting them up for DISASTER. That- for real- is precisely one of the reasons folk in my 'community' (the black community) don't want white folks raising our kids. It is people like the J-M's who DO.GET.IT. who have given me new hope. Those boys gotta know who they are. They gotta know that it does matter. And armed with that, those boys will go wherever they want and be whoever they want to be. Praise the Lord that Heather is a sociologist. She seems to know this stuff like the back of her hand. And let me tell ya, that is no easy thing. Heather and Braydon, you just keep on keepin' on with it. Dont let these fools stand in your way. You know the right thing and you are doing right by those boys. White folk might not know it, but us black folk do. Heather you're a good momma- don't let the Debs and Denises of the world get you down - they clearly don't know a thing about raising black kids.
Cherise, NYC

The Tacheny's said...

I for one am praying McCain wins ... but I still love you read your blog. :)

insanemommy said...

Heather, I.Love.It. My girls cried and begged to go see me hear "Rock Obama" last week. It was precious. They jump up and down and squeal and scream his name everytime they see him. Whetehr it be on the Telly, on in the newspaper or on a sign. They know who he is. Unfortunately for us our community does not allow political or commercial signs displayed in the neighborhood. Ha ha. If so I promise you I'd have a life like cut-out of Barack Obama! We're hopeful for the blue vote too...here's to our future.

Anonymous said...

To those of us who DO appreciate and support the "content of character" of Barack Obama and have brown little boys -- the fact that he is brown is just a big added plus. For our sons to be able to see this history, to tell their children and grandchildren -- and for them to feel this pride -- THEY COULD BE PRESIDENT SOMEDAY!
For those of us who are white families who have transracially adopted, it is good for our children to not only have Barack Obama as a role model because he is "brown like them", but also because he was raised by white family -- his diverse, international, multiracial family is something that our children can relate to, and take comfort in knowing about -- this successful man also did not "look" like all of his family.
Anyway, Heather do you already have the children's book "Barack" by Jonah Winter? We got it at Target just today -- it is a great kid-friendly summary and, for our transracially adopted boys, illustrations show Barack as a little boy with his mother as well as cuddling on the couch with his grandparents -- a scene that our boys will find familiar looking (in terms of having a multiracial family) and I'm sure comforting to them. I recommend it if you haven't already purchased it!
-B

Heather said...

B-- I don't know who you are, but, Yes! Yes to EVERYTHING you wrote! :) And thanks for the recommendation for the book! I just ordered it on Amazon for the boys. :)
Heather

Jen said...

I was going to say the same thing, who are you people? I mean seriously, do you honestly believe that two highly educated parents would vote or encourage their children to appreciate a man who was of low moral character? Do you honestly think they would vote for a man only for the color of his skin?? Come on...

I for one will be thrilled when my American friends vote Obama into the White House. We here in Canada are more then a little sick of the Republican rhetoric and scary trickle down effect it has here.

Totally off topic...how long was the boys hair when you officially locked it? Our little guy has about 1 to 1.5 inches of hair but I find the twist are coming untwisted along the sides very easliy, even with beeswax and a fancy head wrap at bedtime!

Anonymous said...

I thought of this after the fact, but when I was little it used to DRIVE ME NUTS that Eric Estrada had a girl's name -- in my pre-reading (Chips loving) mind I had phonetically separated his first and last name to be "Erika Strada". Likewise maybe your boys hear Barack Obama to be "Baracko Bama" hmmm --the possibilities of kid's thought processes are just way too cute.
-B

Ema said...

I too am rooting for McCain/Palin, I feel he is the best man for the job, and I am woman enough to vote my beliefs, and ignore women who do not see the merit of her status.

I love the idea of what my daughter can learn from her. . .

McCain/Palin!

Ema

Heather said...

Go BARACK-O! I would've voted for Obama even before adopting my AA son. I think Obama is an exceptional role model for my boy, absent the color of his skin.

But the fact that my son will see a reflection of himself (in both the color of his skin and his family make-up) is icing on a beautiful cake!!

HCP

This Mama said...

Whoo-hooo Barack-O!!

All us Canadian's up here are rooting for some big changes for our neighbors to the South.

I am glad to see the J-M family endorsement for Obama!

I also wanted to thank Cherise and others for their thoughtful responses to some comments. I think the whole idea of living and raising our children "colour-blind" is something that a person who lives with white privilege could ever conceptualize. To the person who made the comments I suggest you check out this article:
http://mmcisaac.faculty.asu.edu/emc598ge/Unpacking.html

Obama has character, wisdom and the strength to lead your Nation.