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.