Re-Mixed: Time to dust off our blog?

After two years of neglect of this blog we began in South Africa, we’re thinking it might just be time to dust it off again. Here’s a glimpse of how we came to that conclusion…

Dan: So, Sindiso, what have you been up to anyway these past two years while not whipping up blogs for our massive public audience of 13.5 (do cats count?)

Sindiso: I don’t know… I mean, I’ve managed to hold onto my job… I’ve almost finished a book… I’ve travelled a little, I guess… Oh, yeah, and I somehow miraculously managed to add two new people to the world’s population – that counts, right?!

Dan: As long as I get to take partial credit (underscore ‘partial’ – you really carried the weight, in more ways than one ;) …

Sindiso: LOL. Thanks for the compliment, Dan … That reminds me of the ‘best’ (read: most humorous/awkward) compliment I ever got when a friend said, “I’m in awe of your uterus!” I hadn’t thought of it that way till then (and am still terribly embarrassed thinking of it that way even now!), but I guess she had a point: bearing twins is kind of a “badass” thing to have somehow pulled off – haha!! But I really appreciate the important role you played too. It was, some might say, indispensable ;) Anyway, what have you been up to, Dan?

Dan: Besides sassing you, you mean? Well, I guess it’s been an eventful couple of years off the blog, from tramping through snow with a few thousand fellow reformers while heading up Open Democracy and the NH Rebellion… to having a ‘baby’ of my own (your word, right?) by running for state office last year… to starting a new job and career in clean energy with ReVision Energy… oh, and sharing in that greatest of possible joys with you: the arrival of our little boy and girl!

Sindiso: I’m not sure I can take credit for calling your campaign another “baby”… I believe it was one of our family or friends who aptly observed that having your campaign alongside the birth of our twin babies must surely be like having triplets! LOL.

Dan: Touché! So why did you want to get back to blogging, anyway? Think you have something fresh to say?

Sindiso: Well, if you’ll allow me to be earnest for a moment, I do think we may have had more interesting conversations about our being “mixed up” as a family since we’ve had babies than we’d had even before… And you know we’d already had some fascinating experiences when it was just the two of us…

Dan: You can say that again. I’m recalling those two incredible years we were blessed to spend in Cape Town together near the start of our marriage (seven years ago, if you can believe it!) and how this blog was an indispensable outlet for all the processing we found ourselves doing as we were daily confronted with the complexities of “race”/faith/politics. That may have been especially true for me as someone who was always been privileged to occupy the “default” position in society and so never thought of myself in possession of a “race” or even “identity” per se. Being your husband – and now the father of mixed-“race” kids in the age of #BlackLivesMatter and its counter-attack – has been a trip…

Sindiso: It’s really interesting to learn more about what brings you back to the space we have created for ourselves – and hopefully for those who share the journey with us in some way – in the form of this blog. I guess, for me (the resident introvert), the return to this blog is the return to a space that allows me to think about the notion of spectacle.

Dan: Spectacle? That’s an interesting word choice…

Sindiso: Yeah, well, if I had to summarise today what being “mixed up”, and now “re-mixed”, represents to me, it could probably be captured in that one word: spectacle. The twin moms I know speak about how going anywhere with your twins and all the paraphernalia you need take with you, and then adding to that the reactions you get from people, you just have to accept that your arrival announces that “the circus has come to town”.

Dan: Indeed, it definitely does feel a bit like the carnival has arrived, doesn’t it?! And that’s not even counting people’s added fascination with boy/girl twins in particular…

Sindiso: Right, as you very well know, it turns out that having boy/girl twins, the so-called “perfect pigeon pair” (a term I’d never heard in my life till we had twins and people started saying it to me as a matter of course), adds yet another layer to the sense of spectacle.

Dan: Hmmm… I hear you.

Sindiso: Well, being an unambiguously mixed-“race” couple – and now family – adds still another layer of spectacle to that. And, basically, I feel that our family is quite the spectacle… And not in a bad way, just in a curious way; the kind of way that compels all manner of looks (and periodically rude stares) and prompts conversations with strangers or just between us. All of this ultimately necessitates some unpacking of why we attract the kinds of attention we do and, more fundamentally, why the social construct that is “race” continues to have such profound purchase. And this blog is the place I go to do that unpacking in what I hope is a way that gives outsiders to our life a helpful window on the world according to our mixed-“race” family, and maybe helps build a little more mutual understanding between people(s)… the same mutual understanding our marriage has helped us to facilitate between ourselves and hopefully, by extension, between our “races”.

Dan: I’ll endorse that logic for continuing this blog – with one addition: As the guy who never was accustomed to speaking about “race” etc. in personal terms (and as the lapsed political scientists/philosopher of this pair), I have a tendency to approach the subject in a slightly more abstracted way. I like to use this blog (and other writings) to probe questions of a more systemic nature: is society progressing or regressing on issues of “race” and class; what are we to make of the resurgence in “white identity” among a recently-emboldened cadre of white supremacists and their sympathizers; where do we see leadership, find hope on these issues today; what policy changes should we be advancing, in what priority, if we are to finally someday consign systemic racism to the dustbin of history… Which is not say the personal doesn’t bear mention; in truth, it’s the indispensable lens through which we see/experience the political, which lens we seek to share with others who care to take a peek… So what say you we get back to it (blogging), then?

Sindiso: Let’s do it!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Leigh Nyahe says:

    Can’t wait to read your blog. As a mixed family, black father, white mother, 2 boys, I look to your experience as something I can relate to and find comfort in. I struggle with the thought of what will happen to my black sons? Will they end up like Tryvon? Will they be like Barack Obama? Should I use my white privilege (which I don’t deny exists) to give them every advantage? Can’t wait to see two people who are definitely more eloquent than myself share their experiences and thoughts

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