This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday afternoon.

Luckily no tornadoes yesterday. The sirens went off, but it was not too near us, luckily.  The girls both know how to tell where the bad spots are on the radar. They are so funny saying, "it's only yellow and a little red mommy, don't worry. No tormadoes." Tormadoes is how they say it.

Last night was fun. We met some of our neighbors. I escaped with only a very small bowl of chili and 1/2 a chocolate chip cookie. I had a few grapes for dessert. Everyone liked my whole wheat brownies. I have to admit they were tasty.  We watched "How to Train Your Dragon".  If you haven't seen this, you should it is very cute and funny.

We made it home by half time in the OU game.  Shoulda stayed at the party because it was an awful excuse for a football game. This is why I wanted to wait a few weeks to be ranked#1.  Just a huge bummer.

Cowboys don't play until Monday. I don't have a very good feeling about playing the Giants.  Today there are a few games on and I'll watch a bit of ball. I look forward to the Vikings vs Green Bay.

Earlier today we watched "The Express" which is the story of Ernie Davis, the first black athlete to win the Heisman.  It was a really good movie, but sad.  It's so painful to realize that the movie took place less than 50 years ago and the racism he dealt with and other black athletes dealt with was so rampant.   I just do not understand the mindset of treating another human being so badly just because of the color of their skin. It is sickening.  I am so glad that I was raised by a mother that taught me that color doesn't matter. She introduced me to diversity at an early age and it never entered my mind that the color of a person's skin should determine how you treat them.

It is disgusting to me that racism is still rampant although maybe less direct.  I am sad to say that there are racists in my own family. During the last election I had to tell some of them to stop sending me offensive emails. Disagree with his politics if you'd like, but do not include me in your racist jokes. 

I use movies like these to teach my children about how things were in our country and how wrong some people's beliefs are. It is important to teach your children the right way to treat people. They have to understand all parts of our history, not just what they teach in school.  And, we as parents teach by example.  Our children watch everything we do. They pick up on nuances in our tone or body language. If you have racist beliefs, you don't have to say them out loud for them to learn them. I was proud last week that when my daughter told me about her new friend named Jayden. She described her as funny with long hair.  It didn't occur to her to describe her as black and that made me really glad.

Sometimes my nearly 13 year old comes home and tells me jokes I think are rude and racist. He hears them from his friends. I stop and take the time to explain why these things are wrong.  Sometimes people think that if they mean it as a joke, it's no big deal.  Living in the south, you hear a lot of "that's just how I was raised" as an excuse. It is despicable.

The courage of those that led the way in the Civil Rights movement is beyond me. Some of them risked everything including their lives to change things.  They saw the injustice and stood up for what was right. It amazes me and makes me question myself. Could I have done that? Would I have done the same?  Standing up for what is right is hard.

I try to remind myself that you don't have to go on a march to make a difference. Being a good person, treating people fairly, teaching your children how to be fair minded.  Those things are so important in breaking the cycle of  racism.

And if you think that discrimination is over, I think you are fooling yourself.  It is more hidden now and luckily is becoming less. But it is out there. And not just on the basis of race. I think discrimination is wrong. All kinds including race, age, sexual orientation and religious beliefs.  Mankind has used these things to destroy each other forever. When will we learn?

And I ask myself, how can I make it better? Then I see my kids. Playing with kids of all colors, all religions, handicaps. They smile, they laugh. They do not shun people different from themselves. And I realize, I already have made it better.


  1. Did you ever hear it said that you can tell how good a mommy you are by how your children treat their dollies? I totally agree. How our children play with and interact with other children is a good indicator of our own practices and beliefs. You have made things better. Sorry your teams are struggling. Good thing you have lots of 'em!
    We're excited because we just made plans to be in Texas at Christmas! You all have much better weather than we do--last year we had 24 inches of snow at Christmas.

  2. As an Ohio State alum and fan, I empathize with the quick loss by a number 1 football team. Poof! It's gone.
    But, the principles you noted in your children's behavior last more than a week or a football season. Your commitment to teach, honor and correct them will bring you more than just the national football championship would ever mean.
    One hug at a time, humanity is knit together. Thanks for your example.

  3. Amen on the message of respect and equity. I use term "institutional racism" in my post this coming Wednesday. Good to see health bloggers are not staying silent. Let's make this a more just world.

  4. Bravo on a good post! First congrats for doing well at the dinner! Whole wheat brownies - sounds good!

    We live in Northern CA and my children have had a rainbow of friends over the years. I'm grateful that they have had the opportunity to attend school their entire lives with such a diverse group of people.

  5. Oh, and sorry about the OU loss. They're in good company losing #1 so fast.

  6. Wow! I've been following you for just a short time, but I had a feeling I would like you. My husband and I (both white) adopted both of our children, and they are both black. I was very naive about racism, I think. I thought that I'm not racist, and I didn't really see it much. Then I got black kids, and I realized that it is still alive and well. But I hope that we can all learn from mistakes of the past. On the other hand, I love that there are so many people who are trying to make a difference. The best way, I think, is by starting with our children, as you clearly are. The lessons we teach to them will be taught by them and passed on for generations. Thank you for this post. It was a pleasure to read.

  7. Football? eew...

    discrimination is something I didn't grow up around - and I'm not sure how that happened. I grew up in Europe where it's either less prevalent or I was just protected from it - I'm not sure which. Germany in the 70's couldn't have been perfect...but I do know that the contrast to coming to the US and seeing racism for the first time, I was shocked.
    I'm trying to raise my kids the same way. So far, it seems to be going well. Color, mental ability, looks, or situation - none of them make a person WHO they are.
    My son learned signing to play with a deaf/blind friend in 1st grade (he did this without my knowledge). My daughter volunteers in the special ed room at her high school - going above and beyond to make sure "her" students are treated well, have more opportunities than the school outlines, and generally is their friend - far more than her peers and their quest to do the bare minimum for their college resumes.

  8. In my first semester back to school I took a poli-sci class, and in there we covered discrimination from the civil rights movement. I can tell you that I wanted to scream, yell, and throw things when we read about stuff that happened to blacks back then. I have zero tolerance for racism or sexism, and you're right, there's definitely plenty of it still today. I belong to the safe zone in my school...I'm a safe person to be around, I wear a tag when I'm there of the triangle with colors...and it still surprises me at how many times people have came up to me to talk, or to gain reprieve from someone who's harassing them.

    Great post...awesome post. Awesome insight. Thank you so very much for sharing it!

  9. That is just weird Doc! I am taking a class on diversity and I didn't even really realize that I was raised to not be racist, but after taking this class, I figured out I was. It seems teaching kids can be done very subtly. I love that you are showing your kids the same thing I teach Lauren. You can not like the PERSON for good cause, but don't ever ever dislike the person for their physical characteristics.

  10. What a well written post! Thanks so much for your great thoughts here. I heard someone comment once on the irony in the Field of Dreams movie. It portrays James Earl Jones as a reclusive writer, who was a leader in civil rights, yet this African-American still has great nostalgia for the all-white baseball teams of yesteryear.

    We are living in a great time where our children can hopefully grow up at a time when they are blind to prejudice. They seem to just see other kids, not differences.


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