“#truestory #trayvonmartin #unionsquare #millionhoodies”
I dont’ know how to credit twitter pics – but this was on my feed tonight.
This guy could be my biggie boy, Waffles. (OK, Waffles is only 19 – but have y’all seen Waffles lately? In a word, scruffy. Sorry pal, I know you’ll read this. And I love ya like crazy. You know I’m proud of the man you are, in every way.
Even if I wanna cut your hair and give you a razor. )
And yet, I don’t fret for Waffles safety. I don’t NEED to advise him to walk with his hands visible, with his eyes alert and ahead of himself, with his head uncovered and his senses at calm attention. I don’t feel compelled to remind him to always give off the air of being a ‘prospect, not a suspect.’ It’s ok if he runs across the neighborhood lawns or he and his pals ride bikes at 3 a.m. in the neighborhood because they are crazy boys trying to stay up for 48 hours. I don’t advise him about how to handle a traffic stop in his rusted out beast of a vehicle. I give him regular mom advice. (And plenty of it, rest assured) Let me restate: I give him regular WHITE MOM advice for her WHITE SON. This is our shared privilege. We haven’t earned this privilege, it is ours because we are white.
But this boy of mine, the little one, the one I call Blueberry, will need a different kind of regular ‘ol Mom advice. It will be infused with details I am still learning to provide — and with which I will need some help from those who live in skin like his. He’ll need to know so much more. The “Kissing Hand” his big brother gave him as he departed back to college from spring break won’t be enough to protect and inform my sweet youngest. Niether of us have that kissing magic. We both wish we did. Our whole family wishes we did.
These are my sons. I love them. They are my heart. And I won’t be quiet about it.
Please, if you are not parenting children of color, read these and put an end to racial profiling, ingorance, and claims of colorblindness. If you are parenting children of color, read this to build your strategies and your resolve.
Help me change the world for my sons. Help me change the world for BOTH of them. Help me raise my voice for justice.
I have no more words, and mine pale in the company of those who know so much more than I do – – but I have love – – and that love is fierce for my sons. I will not be silent.