This is a rather long post and has been several months in the making.  I have prayed and prayed about whether I should even share this story on my blog or not.  After the events of tonight; I feel it is long overdue.  This is my family.  From back to front, left to right there is Madeline (14), Donzell and I (Mom & Dad), Isaiah (8), and Hannah (7).
our christmas

Let me start by saying that we live in a very small town in south Louisiana.  I was warned, by my husband, that this town has some very deep roots in racism when we moved here.  Being born and raised in Memphis, TN, I figured I could handle it.  I don’t know if what our family has been put through in the last few weeks is racism or if it’s because we are not Catholic and live in the most Catholic area of the United States or if it’s because we home school in an area of the country where home schooling is offensive to most people.  I don’t know if it’s one of these things or a combination of them.  What I do know is that my children are being targeted and the most obvious reason would be because they are the only non-Caucasian children who play in the neighborhood.  I am not one to scream racism EVER and neither is my husband, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
hannah images
We moved in this rental house in January of this year. We had just sold our home in North Mississippi and weren’t sure if Church Point was the place for us. We are pretty sure we want to stay in south Louisiana, but maybe a more metropolitan area. Anywho, when we moved here we were in LOVE with the house and the neighborhood. It is a very quiet neighborhood and our street only has three houses on it and my husband knew everyone around here. We felt safe allowing our children to play outside and we can walk, as a family, to church since our church is only 2 blocks from our house. I mean, this house really was an answer to our prayers.

When we moved here, my children and I went around and handed out these cute little gifts to about 15 of our neighbors just as a nice gesture.  Two of our neighbors said “We’re not interested” which was disappointing to my children, but that’s okay 😀  After that everything was good.  I’m not much of a socialite as I work full time on this blog, go to school full time and home school 3 children.  I wasn’t the friendliest neighbor, but I was never unfriendly.  We keep to ourselves, but Hannah and Isaiah love to run the neighborhood.  They have bikes, roller blades, a swimming pool, a rip stick and tons of personality.  They quickly became friends with the neighborhood kids.

my 3 kids

About 2 months ago, we got a new neighbor across the street.  She is probably in her 60’s and has her son and grandson living with her.  I was very busy at the time, so I never got a chance to go over and welcome her to the neighborhood.  Well, about a month after she moved in, my kids came in the house crying saying that she said she was going to have Annie Belle (our 3 year old rat terrier) arrested.  She was chasing stray cats and squirrels through their yard.  Hannah and Isaiah were afraid that they were going to go to jail.  I just laughed it off and told them not to worry about it and go back outside and play.  Well, about 30 minutes later, I hear the woman yelling at my children.  I went outside and asked what the problem was.  She quickly let me know that my dog had been in her yard and was NOT welcomed.  I was not happy with the extremely rude tone she was using with myself and my children and became very defensive.  I told her we’d be happy to keep Annie Belle on a leash, but PLEASE don’t EVER go to my 6 & 8 year old if you have a problem.  Please come get me or have them come get me (I am usually watching everything through the kitchen window).  She yelled some obscenities and told me she should not  HAVE to come get me, it’s her yard, blah, blah, blah….things went downhill from there.  Well, I quickly left and went to the hardware store to get the proper equipment to keep our “vicious dog” contained.

When we got home; Hannah and Isaiah wanted to play outside, so I let them.  Two of their friends (who are older than my children) from the next street over came over to play with them.  I saw they were playing in the front yard, but didn’t pay attention to what they were playing.  After about 10 minutes of playing, Isaiah came running in the house screaming because he had hurt his friend “really bad”.  Apparently the neighbor boys had jumped my fence and picked some of my green satsumas and they were all having a “lime fight” and throwing the green satsumas.  Well, Isaiah threw one and it hit one of the boys in the eye.  He said “I told him I’m sorry like a hundred times Mom, but I think I really hurt him bad.”  I told him not to worry about it that he did all he could do.  They went back outside to play and I continued washing dishes.

isaiah and alligator

The little boy’s mother came over to our fence and asked who hit her son and Isaiah fessed up.  I was watching it all from my kitchen window.  Then she proceeded to tell my children that they’re not welcomed in this neighborhood and they need to stay in their own yard and never come on their street (the street behind us).  Do I need to remind you that my children were in OUR yard when all of this happened?  Well, when I saw this raging lunatic yelling, with arms flailing, at my 6 and 8 year old; I shot out the front door.  I yelled “What’s the problem?” and she walked away *very briskly*.   Well, her son left his bike in our driveway, so when her son came to retrieve it, I told him to have his mom come get it.  When she did; I let her have it!  (remember, this was only a few hours after the incident with the across-the-street neighbor)  I told her, in a not-so-kind way, to never come to my house and think she can lay down rules with my children.  If there is a problem with my children, then you need to come talk to their mother, not them!  She went on and on about how our next door neighbors saw the whole thing and Isaiah hit her son intentionally.  Now, I am NOT one of those mothers who thinks their kids do no wrong, but Isaiah is not a mean or vindictive child; Hannah maybe, but not Isaiah LOL  I proceeded to tell her that she was being a racist jerk and the conversation went downhill from there.  She explained to me that she cannot possibly be racist because she has a “mixed” niece….um….okay….Well, we took a trip to Walmart that night and bought a gift bag full of goodies for both neighbors!  I was determined to be the bigger person.  We delivered the bag to the across-the-street neighbor with a note apologizing for our pooch being a nuisance and promised to do our best to keep her contained.  We took a bag full of toys, crayons, coloring books, and candy to the little boy that got hit with a satsuma with a note, handwritten from Isaiah, apologizing for hitting him and assuring him it was an accident.  Anywho, her sister ended up coming to apologize on her behalf because she’s known to have a short fuse and a hot temper…..again…um…okay…

madeline beautiful 1

Fast forward to today…..Hannah and Isaiah were outside riding their bikes on our street.  Yes, I let them ride in the street, remember 3 houses on the street 😀 I looked outside and saw the little boy from across the street who is 7 years old riding his bike with my kids and they were having fun. About 5 minutes later, I looked outside and saw the grandmother scolding my children. Hannah and Isaiah came in the house crying. The grandmother told them not to play with her grandson and “Leave him alone! Just leave him alone!” So I asked them what happened and they said he’s not allowed to ride his bike in the street and she told them to stop asking him to come play because he’s not allowed. I just brushed it off and told them not to worry about it and just go play. They weren’t outside 5 minutes and I saw the uncle of the little boy talking to my kids and pointing his finger in their face. I, very quickly, went outside and asked what the problem was. He said “Well, they keep asking my nephew to come play, but he’s not allowed to play in the street like they do”.

  • Me: I’ve asked y’all before to PLEASE come to me if there’s a problem with my children. DO NOT go to a 7 & 8 year old and expect a resolution.
  • Him: I told them to come ask me if they want to play with my nephew
  • Me: REALLY?! You expect a 7 & 8 year old to come knock on the door of a house where the people inside have never shown them anything but anger and make a request?
  • Him: Why are you twisting my words
  • Me: Well, it seems to me that you are asking something of a 7 & 8 year old that you’re not even willing to do yourself!
  • Him: Well he’s not allowed to play in the road and he knows that
  • Me: That sounds like a discipline problem with your child, not mine. Mine are allowed to play in the road, so they weren’t breaking any rules.

….it goes on and on….  The only thing these people are accusing my children of is asking another child, their age, to come play.  At this point there has been no resolution.  I am just beside myself at the treatment my children have received from two different neighbors in a neighborhood where they’ve never shown anything but love to the neighbors.  The sister of the woman who told my children they’re not welcomed in the neighborhood even told me that she can tell my kids are home schooled because they are so well-mannered.  Now, like I said before, I’m not one to scream racism, but I can see no other obvious reason why my children are being targeted by 2 of our neighbors.  No matter what the motivating factor is; I will NOT sit idly by while my children are blatantly bullied by our adult neighbors!  What do you think?

22 Replies to “What’s the Real Problem Here?”

  1. Rachel, I am so sorry that you have to deal with this. Your kids are lovely, I can tell this without even meeting them. You are one of the kindest people I’ve ever met in the blogging community. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this crap (that’s putting it nicely). The deep south is backwards, I’ve lived it my whole life. I never proclaimed my nationality due to the fact that I’d be picked on until I was old enough to fight back (luckily I can “hide within the crowd”). My own FIL thinks I’m a second class citizen.
    Anywho, you, nor your husband nor kids deserve this behavior. I’m so sorry. I’m here for you. If you need someone to talk to, or need someone to fight beside you for your kids to be treated with the respect they deserve.

    1. Tara, you are too kind. I just wish these people could see past the superficial things and see these children want nothing more than just to play and be children 😀

  2. You are doing the right thing… Keep it up. I am so sorry you have to deal with this daily. No need for this to still happen. Your children are amazing young smart youths that you have you and D as great models. I know that what is happening is wrong and so do they . This will make all you STRONGER

  3. Rachel it sounds as if you are handling yourself with class. I don’t think there’s much more you can do other than what you’re doing. People are just plain ignorant and unfortunately there’s no fix for that. My biracial son has gone to a predominantly white school for 11 years now and has endured his share of racism. I always told him people are just jealous of your tan. Whenever he experiences it now he just says ‘awe they’re just jealous of my tan ma” Even teachers have treated him differently. I’ve gone toe to toe with these schools and at this point they cringe when they hear my name. You and your husband are amazing parents to have that kind of devotion to homeschool work and go to school! So don’t let other people’s ignorance break you down. Children are remarkably resilient and intelligent little creatures who can bounce back from most things thrown at them. As far as your neighbors go……kill em with kindness! Karma’s a b***h! God bless!

    1. Awe Kimberly, we’ll be praying for your little guy. This just breaks my heart. People just don’t understand how precious little children are.

  4. Some people just don’t like other people’s children especially if they’re not related. I wouldn’t bring race into it unless someone specifically says something regarding skin color. If you do, and your kids hear that, they may start to automatically assume people are looking at their skin tone, which may not always be the case. My suggestion is to first off, if you feel they are unsafe in any way, remove their images from the internet. Also, maybe be outside with them while they play so neighbors see that you are keeping a close eye on them. This is just what I would do if this was happening to me. Otherwise I think you did the right thing, by confronting them.

    1. I have never thought they were any physical danger. I am just not a fearful person. I know that the people who are doing these things are the real cowards. I don’t know that this is racially motivated and never will unless someone comes out and says it. I have never, to this day, met a person who admits to being racist. Even the little boy who called my son a n*gger, his parents swore they’re not racist and didn’t know where he heard that. The little boy was 5 and not in school…..Although I cannot say for sure that the parents of that child were racist, I’m feel pretty safe in assuming so 😀 I appreciate your perspective, Jillian.

  5. The real problem is simple. The human race is a mess. And doomed. Probably doomed if this kind of thing keeps up…

  6. I had some same issues with one neighbor of mine and her children, just outright wanted to cause trouble.
    Our solution was simple. Our kids have very select friends they play with, they don’t leave our privacy fenced backyard.
    I made my kids ignore them. Seemed to resolve the issue.

  7. I agree that you are doing the right thing. I live in a rural community and people here are very narrow-minded too. My kids weren’t allowed to have certain friends over at the house because I am divorced, Now mind you, I am happily single and never dated, but the perception was that divorced women were “wild”. In the end, My kids were all excellent students and well-behaved and disciplined.
    it was their kids who lost out. When all your friends gather for a movie night or a swimming party and you aren’t allowed to come, it hurts. I hope the neighbors eventually realize that what they are doing is wrong and come around 🙂

  8. I think you should move to Killeen/copperas cove Texas. We have perhaps the most racially, ethnically, religiously and educationally diverse environments in America here. homeschooling is normal and supported here. Ft hood brings influences from the four corners of the world, and racism is (almost) dead. This isn’t the case in the rest of Texas, but honestly no one here gives a second thought to either interracial couples or homeschoolers. Come on! I’d love to meet you!

  9. First off congrats on bringing 3 breathtakingly beautiful, well mannered adorable children into this world. If I lived next to you I would have no problem letting my kids play with yours. Up here in Kentucky its the I am better than you syndrome and a little racism as well. I live in a neighborhood with all ages of little kids and most of them don’t have much but the are just like their moms and dads. Biased and snobby and what for. Even Donald Trump isn’t that snobby and we are all the same on the inside. Well most of us. Some are full of (it). LOL. I even had my ex next door neighbor tell me my kids would never make it in this world because they are too well mannered and nice and need to learn who the right people are. What??? You see my problem. I have told my kids since birth that everyone is different on the outside and the same on the inside. Its the inside that counts and the outside doesn’t matter. I believe its because we like everyone (unless you give us a reason not to) is the reason people don’t want to be our friends. My Daddy always told me no matter where you go in this life there are gonna be people that hate you no matter what and for no reason at all. Its just something inside them that just is and it needs to be fixed not you. Its how you let it affect you is your problem. He said be like a duck. Calm on the surface but under the water paddle like heck. You have a beautiful family and your an amazing mom and I would be mad as heck too. I hope that things will get better for everyone in this world but right now there are still bigot idiots everywhere. Sending love, hope, hugs and prayers your way. 🙂

    1. Awe, thank you so much for your encouraging words Anita 😀 This world really is a cruel place and there are not enough “nice” people like us LOL

  10. I’m so sorry you are going thru this as you have such a beautiful family! Sadly, some people are just plain messed up! Maybe you could try one more time and try to put together a block party or end of summer bash. Invite everyone, make it a potluck, plan a couple games. I would explain to your children that you are trying to promote goodwill towards the neighbors but ultimately it is up to the neighbors if they want to mingle. How sad for the little boy that lives in that house! Praying for you and your family and a resolution to the problem! Good luck!!

  11. Rachel you are an Amazing MOM, I have seen you in action and your kids are wonderful just keep doing what you are doing, and teach those beautiful babies of yours that over 50% of the people in this world are ignorant, and not happy with themselves or their own lives so they feel the need to make everyone else around them unhappy as well! I would be happy to let my kids play with yours any day maybe yours could teach mine a thing or 2! lol

    1. Thank you so much Amanda 😀 That means so much coming from you. We’ll have to set up a play date….in the middle of my street LOL

  12. The neighbors do not have the right to scold your children. It is HARASSMENT! I If it continues I would contact law and let them handle it

  13. We have known each other since high school and since I have known you, you have always been a person with a BIG heart. Keep up the good work that you have been doing with your kids showing that you don’t have to act like a fool because someone else does. I do agree that you should continue to KILL the hell out of them with kindness and watch the blessings for you and yours flow.

    1. Awe, that is too sweet Kellie 😀 I’m going to try and be creative on how we can be a blessing to our neighborhood through all of this.

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