Resisting Racism

August 7, 2016


When I was 12 years old, my parents adopted another child. One morning in May 1971, I went to school without a brother; that same day when I came home from school, there he was, my new brother, who had been born in the Goshen hospital just 3 days before. Matthew is biracial: his biological father was African-American and his biological mother was white.

It turned out that his adoption was my first introduction to racism. Three months after he came to our family, my mother took us to the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Relief Sale. I have a distinct memory of us walking into one of the buildings at the relief sale, she a 34-year-old white woman pushing a stroller with a 3-month-old biracial baby, and I, a 12-year-old white boy, walking beside her. As we walked into building, I could see a bunch of white people staring at us. I could see their eyes narrowing, their jaws slightly shifting, their stride pausing for a fraction of a second. One white woman, just after she walked past us, turned to her white friend and asked in a moderately loud voice: “Where did that baby come from?” The question I thought I heard underneath her question was: “How many men has that white woman been sleeping with?” I glanced quickly at my mother to see what her reaction would be. She said nothing, but on her face was a look of shock and horror at what had just happened.

Bible References

  • Ephesians 6:10 - 18