Sunday, March 28, 2010

Beyond FAMILY:

I met Heidi Durrow, author of THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY, a few weeks ago at Tattered Cover Book Store here in Denver, and just today followed a link she posted regarding the Mixed and Happy Facebook page...which then led me to Gotta love serendipity. And anything that gets me back here to update my neglected blog with a very worthy resource that promotes tolerance and celebrates diversity! was launched just last fall in response to the bizarre ruling by Judge Keith Bardwell in Louisiana who insisted he was not racist (because he married people of color in his home) but refused to marry a mixed-race couple. In a statement Bardwell released to the media, he insisted he was most concerned about the children such a couple might eventually bring into the world. Apparently he believed such children are doomed to a difficult, unhappy life since they are not accepted by black or white people.
A white mom of a mixed-race family found fault with this reasoning. Rather than simply shake her head and move on, however, Suzy Richardson suggested on Facebook that she might just send a Christmas card to Bardwell that featured photos of mixed-race families in which children (and other family members) are not only well-adjusted, but are actually happy. The response she received to this idea (and the flood of photos) was so overwhelming, she began a Mixed And Happy Facebook page (that’s close to reaching 1,000 fans already) and followed that with the Mixed And Happy blog. And she did send a Christmas card to Keith Bardwell, a card filled with hundreds of images of mixed and happy families from all over the world.
When I stopped by for the first time, I felt right at home. Suzy has a way with words and a knack for supporting others through her enthusiasm and kindness. Even Judge Bardwell is treated with respect. “I didn’t even think about what I was going to write on this card, I just started writing,” Suzy says. “As I was writing, I realized that this project was all about love. So, no judging Keith Bardwell, no throwing stones. Just showing some love. Because, when all is said and done, that’s what changes hearts and lives.”
Photo of “the most colorful Christmas card of the season” by Suzy Richardson