It’s taken me a while to try to form the words for this and many tears have been shed these past 2 days watching, thinking, reflecting. But now I know it doesn’t matter how much I think about it, I just have to say it. I’m the mother of a black boy whether you can see it in his face or not. His milky complexion does not change his blackness or who I want him to celebrate being as he grows up.
I am also the daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin, and friend of black men. Every day I fear for what can come of their lives. These
regular above average men who work hard for their families and work harder to not become victims, while following the rules, mind you, are told perpetuated stories that their lives, hard work, and pursuit of happiness do not really matter. However false that sentiment may ring true to you, know that these stories are not grounded in fact, but rather ignorance and simple-minded opinions that are passed down from one generation of hatemongers to the next, turning these stories into oral tradition and folklore that becomes a reality at the cost of my brothers’ lives.
I fear for the day my son might watch his first episodes of Transsformers and decide all his toys are laser guns (as a white man told me young boys are apt to do).
Nope, not my son.
I fear for the day he gets his driver’s license and leaves the house on his own for the first time.
But only if all of his brake lights are working and his car is in tip top shape. And his music can’t be too loud, of course.
I fear that one day he will eventually have real fear of his own and how that nervousness might make him answer a question too shakily.
We’ve all been there, where no means yes and vice versa when someone is trying their damnedest to trip you up.
It’s insane. I cry thinking that any one of these black lives we’ve actually heard about on the news (because you know there are hundreds more people of color on the list we don’t see) could be one of my brothers or my father, even if they do follow the “rules”.
I yearn for justice. I yearn for higher understanding by a lot of different folks, but I swear to teach it to my boy so he can go out into this world and share it with others.
Right now I’m lucky, lucky he’s not old enough to ask why I’m crying uncontrollably. Young enough to not have to have this talk yet. Young enough that he can’t leave the house without being held closely to my body.
But too many of my friends, mentors, and family members are not that lucky and have to watch their sons and daughters leave their homes daily to go out and play and must have these discussions with innocent children who shouldn’t have to try to comprehend such a complex and hateful ideology, but MUST for their own potential safety. (Knowing and following the rules doesn’t keep you from becoming a victim at the hands of a careless oppressor.)
They say nothing is promised and in this land of the free, and certainly not your freedom. They say the protection of our country is of utmost importance , but what about our citizens here on our own frontlines?
I don’t believe systematic change comes through prayer. I don’t believe in comes in the form of a blog post, either. I’m at a loss for exactly what to do, but for my son’s sake, I need to support and be a part of whatever revolution will come from us being tired. The revolution that does not accept the status quo (or even just accept the outliers because surely not every police officer is corrupt). The revolution that will speak out against injustice and also put an end to it. The revolution that believes representation matters: , in police departments, in the courts, in schools, in Hollywood, and encourages our young people to make their own paths to achieve this, without ridicule or discouragement.
I will speak up and lead by example for my son. His black is beautiful and we will celebrate his lineage of strong, powerful, and honest black men by not operating out of fear, but instead operating out of compassion and love for our own brothers and sisters and extending that to all else who come our way. And when confronted with hate, I want him to know that it’s ok to speak out against it, it’s not ok to turn a blind eye, though he will know that ignorance does not overcome in the long run. Those of you raising children now, regardless of “race” or skin color, we must teach them that they are all they have.
This universe doesn’t care what color you are, but she does hold grudges for those who disrupt her.
Change is coming.