His teacher thought this was hilarious. I laughed at the time, but something about it simply didn't sit well with me. It took me til now to figure it out. You see, that may be the only time my child hears something to that effect.
I tend to avoid recent events here on my blog. Not that I ignore current events, I just don't find writing about them to be therapeutic, per say. But the murder of Trayvon Martin, well, it is something I just cannot not talk about. Because I am terrified for my own sons.
The are adorable and small now, even when wearing their own hoodies. One day they will be handsome and tall. And they will be feared simply because they are big, male and black. And none of these are things over which they have any control. None of these are things over which I have any control. And I have no idea how to protect them.
I know many people want to believe that racism isn't alive and well. I know many people even in my own family who would say that racism went out with the 80's. As a social worker, I've known - secondhand - that racism is a prevalent issue. But it wasn't til I became a mother of black sons that I have come face to face with it.
- Where are the brown-skinned dolls at my local Tar.get store?
- Do you know how hard it is to find quality children's books with any kind of diversity?
- Most teachers, politicians, store managers, and people with power have skin that looks like mine, not like my boys'.
- And what about band-aids? I've yet to find any that match the color of my children's skin.
I feel sad that my child will likely never again be envied for the color of his skin. Instead he will be judged, followed through stores, stopped for DWB (driving while black), and simply feared for being who he is.
Today's lesson: To Trayvon's mother, I say this. I am so sorry for your horrific loss. I grieve the loss of your baby boy. And, if you will have me, I stand with you. I ask all of you to consider for yourselves, the racism that exists in Our world, and in your own worlds. What can we do individually to make the lives of our children safer, happier, less filled with racism. I want my children to be able to walk down the street, with a bottle of pop and a bag of candy and not fear that they will be murdered. I want this for all our children.