Blending A Family In Trump’s America
By Top Contributor Aisha Sidibe
When together, my husband and I have always been treated differently. Even in the diverse metropolitan city of New York. My husband, a Bronxite of Puerto rican and Cuban descent looks a bit different from me. Sometimes he is mistaken for Middle Eastern. A few years ago, after landing in Puerto Rico, the authorities felt it appropriate to check his bag three times and then a fourth before letting him into the country where he had spent a portion of his childhood. I am another Bronxite but of Haitian and Ivorian descent.
When out in public, our existence seems to call out for long gazes as people try to figure out what to make of us. This is especially true in our own borough. One Saturday, we were at Ihop, our favorite impromptu place to eat out with our oldest son, MarkAnthony. A woman sitting in the booth directly across from us had her head turned and stared at us for our entire meal. She even ignored her own family. Alcy glanced over my head. He told me that behind me was another woman who was completely turned around in her booth to stare at us.
Sometimes it’s hard to catch a taxi cab. Especially for Alcy. After finding out that he was Hispanic, one cab driver sighed in relief and went into a tirade against Middle Eastern people. This sort of thing happens when it’s just us. However, on every other weekend, when we have all of our boys with a spectrum of personalities, ages, and skin tones, people don’t know what to make of us. Either out of adoration, curiosity, or out of disgust, we are the family in the glass house.
Those who look at us with disgust usually wants to save one of us. I, as a Black woman should stick with her own kind and he as a Hispanic man should stick to his. We’ve heard it before. But what will happen when Trump becomes president? His fear mongering has already begun. The veil that has kept racist remarks at bay has been thinning. At rallies and at conventions, the hatred is thick. I am afraid. I am not afraid for me so much as I am afraid for the America our boys will grow up in-- where they won’t understand that they can be brothers despite the difference in skin tone. Or that their grandmothers belong here despite the fact that English is not their first language. I’m afraid that Trump represents all that will try to break apart a family like ours.
The truth is, that even in one of the most diverse cities in the world, culturally blended families like ours are in the minority.
(Aisha Sidibe and her husband Alcy.)
We represent a time when love is just love and, as socially aware writers, we also represent a partnership that is aware of our differences and is able to celebrate them. What needs to be attacked is Trump’s attempt at tearing this country apart. My family will stay strong. I hope we all do.
Aisha Sidibe has had a deep love for books her entire life. She was nine when she began to share her writing. As a multi-ethnic writer, intersectionality has been a driving force behind her work. She is working on her first memoir and learning her fifth language – German. She hopes to perfect both by 2020. Aisha is an adjunct instructor at the City University of New York. She lives with her husband, a fiction writer, and two sons in New York. AishaSidibe.Weebly.com.
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