Begging God To Make Me White: Rachel’s Story


Also by Rachel on HA: “Hurts Me More Than You: Rachel’s Story.”

I never realized what an anomaly my family was at homeschool conventions or homeschool co-ops until recently we ran into another Indian family at one. The first I have ever met. And they were only looking into homeschooling. They weren’t even homeschooling yet!

See, my family is not your typical homeschooling family. We’re brown. But more than that, we’re Indian. Like, from India.

And we are still the only Indian homeschool family to date that I know.

For years I’ve felt like an outsider at homeschool conventions because I would look around and every single other person was white, with either brown or red hair neatly tucked into a bun, a traditional jean jumper or skirt, and a nicely demure aura, and there I was with my brown skin, long straight black hair hanging loose, jeans, and gauzy shirt. You can imagine the looks I got.

And here’s where it gets personal.

Race is a very big thing in the homeschool community, I’ve discovered. Douglas Wilson has been skyrocketed into the spotlight for his classic white supremacist views, and his book excusing slavery in the American South, but before I even read his book I started having problems with a class I was taking at the time: Gileskirk Christendom, based on the beliefs of a certain Dr. George Grant. He portrayed Western Civilization, and, most notably white people, as the “greatest flowering of Christianity”, and descrys the rest of the world as pagan, primitive, and ungodly.

It’s as if Christianity equals White.

When I was 12 and 13 I had a mad crush on a young man who was a personal friend of our family. I thought he was fantastic. I adored him pretty much. But he was a good 7-8 years older than me and never realized my hopeless obsession. Before long I realized that there was no way he would ever fall for me, and I remember my mom telling me that it was hopeless because his mom would decide who he courted, and the girl he married would have to be white. (His mom was just that kind who read all the “white supremacy couched as christian” homeschool literature, and raised her kids on Westerns where white = good and dark = bad).

After all, good upstanding white Christian homeschooled guys want a “clean” girl. They want someone with white skin and brown hair, who’s tall and fair and a poster child for homeschooling. They don’t look for shorty curvy brown girls who have way too much passion and poetry in their veins.

And believe me, I’d read all the books. On how you had to be meek and quiet and not rebel or listen to secular music; and all the books made a white southern lifestyle seem equatable with Christianity. You know, where you didn’t go to college, and waited for the perfect Prince Charming. What particularly impacted my view, though, was that the books said that being seductive or sexy was “the sin of Bathsheba” therefore it was considered taboo.

Now, one considers white skin inherently “seductive” or “exotic”, yet those are exactly the stereotypes which come with having copper colored skin. I was convinced that had I only been white, he may have cared for me and it broke my heart and plunged me into extreme self-hatred.

I can remember writing a teary-eyed journal entry begging God to make me white because if I was white, then he would love me. Well, he turned out courting a girl who is just that: white. tall. fair. with brown – blonde hair and who’s pretty much perfect.

And while we all have ideas of what our first heartbreak will be, little did I think that it was my skin color which would break my heart.

I came across a small homeschool pamphlet on courtship yesterday which listed a number of factors which would disqualify a person as a potential spouse. One of them was entitled “race”.

My eyes filled with tears and I threw the book across the room.

It’s just that mindset which is so contrary to the Word of God which says that in Christ there is neither “Jew nor Greek” and that God is no “respecter of persons”, that frustrates me so much. Perhaps this is because I personally have experienced it. I know firsthand the destructive consequences.

It has taken me years to see anything beautiful in my skin color. It’s still a struggle. There are days I’m ok with it, and days I hate it because it’s so…. brown.

If race is something I have no control over, then what makes a white girl more christian simply because she, through no superiority or fault of her own, was born with less melanin in her skin than me?

And after years spent with SPF 100, whitening creams, etc. I give up.

I’m me and that has to be enough.

But I can 100% assure you that those books aren’t helping anything. It’s stupid to hold one skin color up as “better” than another. Because in the eyes of God we are all equal, no matter.

It’s about time the homeschool community discards the religious baloney and heads back to Scripture on this one.


  • All the girls on my pinterest beauty page are dark, black, they have brown hair, and brown eyes, I LOVE the way they look. I am from Louisiana, I have three cousins in a white supremacy group. American Christianity is just very Ku Klux Klan-y. Please know there are informed people like me who are students of beauty and fashion, and we love the way you look. My Southern Baptist preacher grandfather decided we would go to homeschool because his Irish grandchildren would not be going to school with blacks.

  • Purity culture played enough of a number on me as it is–it’s sad to think that the color of your skin added another burden to an already too heavy load. Thanks for sharing your important perspective.

  • You will find someone likes short and dark and curvy and loves the poetry in your veins. Anyone who refuses to consider you because of those things isn’t worth your trouble. I am sad that so many young people are being raised in a culture that does not value their true -supposedly God given- beauty of body and soul. A lot of people of racial minorities are moving away from Christianity and back to the faiths of their ancestors for just that reason. But do what feeds your soul. The rest will fall into place.

  • I grew up in a third-world asian country, and I often wished that I could be “beautiful” like the girls with sunburn-less skin and jet black hair and melting brown eyes. At 20-something I finally realized my hair-color dream with periodic black dyes, and I get to look into a pair of brown eyes every day in my boyfriend (who also has darker skin)… but that is about all I can do to change myself as well.
    I hated sunburns as a child and I would have gladly given up being white just on that issue.
    I cant imagine what life must have been like for you. My first crush was an Asian boy and he was too afraid of my white father to even be seen around me. I spent many years chasing him down to no avail, lol.
    Thank you for speaking out.

    • Wow… Indian culture is very racist as it is (My grandmother has made comments to the effect that tanning/getting darker = uglier), therefore it was difficult, but oh well 🙂 If it can help someone then its all worth it

  • I can’t even believe all these responses… Thank you guys so much 🙂

  • My story is the reverse side. I wanted to marry a short, curvy Asian guy. After slightly less than subtle sabotage attempts, my parents refused to give us their blessing for vague “cultural reasons” among other things. It was ugly and messy, and it still hurts.

    I married him anyways. 🙂

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    For years I’ve felt like an outsider at homeschool conventions because I would look around and every single other person was white, with either brown or red hair neatly tucked into a bun, a traditional jean jumper or skirt, and a nicely demure aura, and there I was with my brown skin, long straight black hair hanging loose, jeans, and gauzy shirt.

    Just your contrast and uniqueness would have marked you as Exotic.

    But with that crowd, Exotic just means Different and Beware Thou of the Mutant.

  • I’m so sorry your heart was broken in that way. I can tell you that I’m a white guy whose second wife (and step-mom to my young children after their mom died of cancer) is a beautiful brown bi-racial woman. We are part of the home-schooling community, our kids are a range of shades and I’m hopeful that our participation in the community will help people see beyond skin color. When my sons and daughters date, I’m not going to pick their partners for them, but in discussing rational criteria for picking partners with them, skin color or “race” isn’t even on the list.

    There is no “sin of Bathsheba” – the text is clear that she was blameless in the affair. Someone with enormous power over her took advantage of her because he could and did. Nathan the prophet (speaking for God) puts 100 percent of the blame on David.

    Take care. May God lead you to the right guy, regardless of his skin color, and heal the hurts you’ve been made to feel over the beautiful person He made you to be.

  • Our homeschooling Kansas family is biracial — I’m mixed race (Anglo-Indian and German Mennonite) and my husband is Mississippi black. We home-educated for 12 years, using the boarding school my father attended in India (1940-47) as inspiration. It’s funny to me now to recognize how very Indian our educational model ended up being.
    In order to combat the racist attitudes my children encountered in the part of the world where we live, in religious community and in homeschool community, I actually wrote a year-long curriculum for Eastern Civ. Nothing like it existed anywhere I looked. I ended up drawing on open-source college curricula for Africana and Asian studies from places like Brown University and various liberal arts colleges that were decidedly not Christian. The Eastern Civ year of study changed all our lives.
    That story could spawn many essays, but what I really want to say is, “Hi there! Meet your first fellow Indian homeschoolers.”
    It’s lovely to meet you, Rachel.

  • Hi, this is Crystal (I am white – I mention this because people think that being white is normal, being non-white is not, and white isn’t mentioned as a skin colour in many Western novels because when you read about a character you assume they are white unless otherwise stated. This seems like utter racism to me. So I mention I am white not to be superior, but equal with you, brown sister of humaynity). Wanting to say that’s a crying shame. I believe God made people a certain way for a reason. God made a beautiful rainbow of browns when he made people. It pleased God to grace us all with brown skin rather than blue or green because we were made out of the earth, and the earth is brown. So every skin colour reflects the glory and majesty and LOVE of God for his most special creation humaynity. That’s my take on it.

  • Thank you Rachel for sharing your story. It is so sad that you felt that way about yourself. I was partially homeschooled, and I saw some of that bigotry, but I always hated it (probably less prevelent because I live in diverse NJ). …Lame BJU textbooks… I hated having to fill the dot next to “white” on exams. I don’t view myself as “white,” but rather as Ukrainian, N. Irish, and Norwegian. I am extremely fair with some relatives above the Arctic Circle in Norway. Interestingly, I have always found Indian women to be especially attractive. It is almost a stereotype to me for some reason. I don’t know why, maybe its the “poetry and passion.” In any case, I am glad that you don’t equate all the American rubbish with true Christianity. The more I learn about American Christianity, the more that I think missionries should be sent here from other countries rather than vice versa. I am intrigued by the very ancient Indian version of Eastern Orthodoxy. Thanks again for writing!

    • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

      Great idea Kyle – send the missionaries to the USA!

      FYI, I’m not a home schooler. I’ve been reading up on Home Schooling as research for a story I’m working on. Not sure I can use most of what I’m seeing though, most people would not find it believable.


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