Episode 78

Identity part 2 - The Parent Trap


November 26th, 2018

57 mins 48 secs

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About this Episode

In this series, we’re learning about identity by asking a foundational question, “Who am I?” We want to better understand how culture and social conditioning have influenced our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. What should we embrace at our core? What lies do we get rid of? And perhaps most importantly, what do we pass on to our kids?

In this episode we’re talking about Laura's answer - and the response that many straight, white, cis, neurotypical, able-bodied people would give - to the question, “Who am I?” (Spoiler alert: it’s not about race.)

Leslie apologizes for using a culturally insensitive metaphor in the last episode, by inadvertently using an ableist term. So sorry! We are still working on offloading these deeply ingrained language norms.

We talk about how racial identity didn't factor into Laura's self-construct because she's white and was raised "colorblind" (or, a less ableist term for it: race-evasive). Leslie gives a quick explainer on the origin of the term "grandfathered in," which, unsurprisingly, has racist connotations. Laura tells an embarrassing story about how she didn't count herself as a white person one time, and shares an excellent quote about race-evasiveness from Shannon Sullivan:

"It’s almost like a pride in being completely clueless about the world in which we live as white people, as if we can’t see how our own whiteness, along with other races, is operating in it. And that actually allows white supremacy hum along quite happily and unchallenged. If you can’t see race, then how in the heck are you going to see racism?"

The meat of the episode is Laura talking about how parenthood completely took over any other sense of her identity for a very long time, and her evolution in embracing the identity of "Parent of Child with Special Needs." While parenting is still her most all-consuming job, she also feels like she's coming out of the woods of early childrearing and can focus on the true joy of having kids: enjoying authentic and interesting relationships with individuals you've helped shape since they were born.

We finish off with a teaser for the next episode in this series: Spiritual Identity.

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Episode Links

  • Indigenous Corporate Training: Use these culturally offensive phrases, questions at your own risk — There are a couple Canada-specific items, and some American atrocities are left out, but this is a good resource from Bob Joseph, a Gwawaenuk Nation member who is a certified master trainer, with a background in business administration and former associate professor at Royal Roads University.
  • Autistic Hoya: Ableism/Language — You're not automatically a bad or evil person/activist if you have used random language on here, but if you have the cognitive/language privilege to adjust your language, it's definitely worthwhile to consider becoming more aware/conscious of how everyday language helps perpetuate ableist ideas and values.
  • 7 Reasons Why 'Colorblindness' Contributes to Racism Instead of Solves It - Everyday Feminism — Colorblind ideology takes race off the table. But for many people of color – as well as for White people who work to dismantle systems of privilege – race is very much on the table. Racism forces it to the tabletop. Colorblindness just pretends the table is empty.
  • Revealing Whiteness: The Unconscious Habits of Racial Privilege (American Philosophy): Shannon Sullivan: 9780253218483: Amazon.com: Books — Revealing Whiteness explores how white privilege operates as an unseen, invisible, and unquestioned norm in society today. In this personal and selfsearching book, Shannon Sullivan interrogates her own whiteness and how being white has affected her...As it articulates a way to live beyond the barriers that white privilege has created, this book offers readers a clear and honest confrontation with a trenchant and vexing concern.
  • Seeing White – Scene on Radio — Where did the notion of “whiteness” come from? What does it mean? What is whiteness for? Scene on Radio host and producer John Biewen took a deep dive into these questions, along with an array of leading scholars and regular guest Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika, in this fourteen-part documentary series, released between February and August 2017.
  • The Racial History Of The 'Grandfather Clause' : Code Switch : NPR — But like so many things, the term "grandfather," used in this way, has its roots in America's racial history. It entered the lexicon not just because it suggests something old, but because of a specific set of 19th century laws regulating voting.
  • Leslie's Orc Hunter — Casually bad-ass.
  • Laura's Orc Rogue — Casually lethal.
  • Potion Explosion 2nd Edition — This is the game we refer to at the end of the episode. Our whole family loves playing it! It says ages 14+, but we have an 8.5 year old who plays quite well independently, and our 5 year old likes teaming up with one of the adults for help.