My son will be 13 this year. I have some fears about the teenage years. I worry about moodiness and about bad attitude and I worry about what it will be like for us as a family when my sweet boy becomes a surly/angry/whatever adolescent.
But I do not worry that his taller stature and more mature appearance will suddenly place a target on his back. I will not have to worry every time he leaves the house that someone with or without a badge will shoot him because they deem him a threat.
I don’t have to worry because he is white.
I will talk to my son about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and driving too fast. I will not have to talk to him about the dangers of cops and security guards and random vigilantes.
I will send him out into the world every day- perhaps worried that his socks don’t match or that he has not brushed his hair. But I will not worry that I may never see him again. Because I am lucky enough to be the mother of a white son.
His privilege is my privilege and I ache that such a basic level of security IS a privilege.
To all the mothers, grandmothers, sisters, girlfriends and wives of black men*, I am sorry that my privilege is not yours. I will stand and march with you. I will raise my children to fight this injustice. I will not be silent and allow police to be the judge, jury and executioner.
My heart aches and I know it is only a fraction of what you feel.
Well done. While the reality of racism does not diminish the right we each have to make choices, we are ultimately all in this together. It is so sad that our nature seems to tend toward tribalism and division rather than our common humanity.
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Yes- and we must at this moment- more than ever- recognize each other’s humanity.