In my last post, I talked about a recent encounter we’ve had with racism where we live. That experience is not over and I’m plotting a few lawsuits as I type this; however, I’ve been struggling with something related to this experience that I want to share.
Let me first say that I trust my husband to keep my children safe. He’s had more than 4 decades of experience with racism and how to deal with it in corporate America as a banker. He understands and gets so much that I overlook.
As a mom, I cannot help but look at this situation and be terrified for the future. Terrified that my brown skinned boys will find themselves in even worse situations when I’m not around, when I can’t use my legal knowledge and love for them to protect them.
Isn’t that what every parent wants to be able to do? Protect their children?
The need to protect my children from racism is more than just name calling or looks or exclusion, it’s the need to protect them from literally losing their lives. When I hear stories about children fired upon or killed or beaten or otherwise abused just for being black or mixed or simply “other,” my reaction is extremely visceral. I see my boys in the faces of the murdered children. I see myself and my husband as the grieving parents.
I have no tolerance for people breaking the law and we are teaching our children about the rules, about the law, about how to conduct themselves. They will, of course, fail in some way. They will do something monumentally impulsive and won’t be thinking of the consequences. As we all did as young people.
And I won’t be there for that. Because breast cancer will kill me.
So, while I can, I am going to fight racism. I am going to look for the best way to punish those who are ugly to and around my family. I am going to take every opportunity to show my children how things can be handled. That people have to speak up. That we can’t be silent. We can’t walk away. We can’t allow bullies to thrive.
But I won’t be around forever and my kids will encounter racism in a variety of ways in their lifetime.
I know my husband and my family will do their best to protect my kids.
At the same time, I have a request of every person reading these words. The only way the way black people are treated will change is if everyone speaks up. Everyone changes. Everyone says no, this will not stand. Everyone says to the bullies and the racists, we don’t do things that way.
Will you speak up? Will you be a part of changing how black people are treated?
I am asking because my mixed race brown boys need a world that treats them with respect and I won’t be able to protect them.
March of 2017, ring bearers in my brother’s wedding right after my diagnosis.
2018, ring bearers in my sister’s wedding, January of 2018
2018-2019, beginning and end of school pictures.