Dear White Mothers Raising Black Children,
You don’t HAVE to say, “Raising black children has opened my eyes to racism,” or something similar.
You don’t HAVE to start sounding like this woman:
You don’t HAVE to sound like this one, either:
Do store personnel follow your children when they are picking out their Gatorade flavors?…they don’t follow my white kids.
Do coffee shop employees interrogate your children about the credit card they are using to pay while you are in the bathroom?…
Do shoe sales people ask if your kids’ feet are clean before sizing them…?
Do you have to tell your kids not to fight back because they will be seen as aggressive if they stand up for themselves?…
Have you had to discuss with your husband whether you should take your children to the police station to introduce them to the officers…?
Have you had to talk to your children about EXACTLY what to say and what not to say to an officer?…
(By the way, the answer to all of her questions is “yes.” All of those scenarios were part of my experience growing up white, and they’ve been true for my white children.)
…my [black] boys have been cloaked in my protection. What I did not realize until now is that the cloak I was offering them was an identification with my whiteness. As they grow independent, they step out from my cloak and lose that protection.
You don’t HAVE to view the world through the Lens of Paranoia…so please don’t!
Please don’t confess to the internet that you treat your black kids different from your white ones. (Because, yikes!)
And please don’t hyper-analyze every step others make near your kids, assuming every negative encounter is a result of “THEIR BLACKNESS/WHITENESS.” Your obsessive, biased social experiments accomplish nothing except pitting half of your sons against the others.
It isn’t rational and objective.
It’s just victimization.
I suggest watching this interview with Deneen Borelli instead of meditating on your kids’ skin all the time:
(And please note–as you certainly will–that she’s a black woman.)
Interviewer: “Have you experienced racism in your life?”
Borelli: “To tell you the truth, I don’t believe I have. And I say that today because I’m sitting with you on a national television station, and I got here from taking advantage of opportunities. If somebody told me ‘no’–whatever color they were–I didn’t take it personally. I wasn’t offended. I just looked for another opportunity… for me to sit here and say I’ve ever been targeted, racially, I can’t say that I have.”
So, did she just miss all the baristas and shoe salesmen and TSA agents who treated her “very differently” from white kids?
Was she living under a cloak of protection?
Or did she simply refuse to wear the Goggles of Racism that were being pushed on her by Victimizers?
Borelli: “Growing up, it was the same message I heard throughout different publications in the Black Community: that blacks are victims, black Americans need special treatment because of their skin color.
[Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpon] are still selling that same message today. The message of victimization…
If you work hard and you persevere, you take risks, doors will open for you.
I can’t say enough how exceptional our country is. But it’s really important for people to take advantage of the opportunities that are available for them.”
See? There are ways to live your life without the crippling idea that there’s an invisible monster always keeping you down…
Your black child doesn’t HAVE to become a liberal.
In fact, even if you subtly suggest to him that all of his neighbors are treating him “differently,” he still may appear on national television someday testifying, “I honestly can’t say I’ve ever been targeted.”
That’s what Deneen Borelli’s (black) parents hear when they watch their daughter speak.
Also, Larry Elder says racism is “not a major problem in the United States.”
And Economist/Social-Theorist Thomas Sowell wrote in 2013, “I’m so old, I remember when most of the people promoting race hate were white.” (He now points to “leaders” in the black community, like Sharpton and Jackson, as the Victimizers.)
All of these people are successful, black Americans.
So why teach your children to think like victims, when they can think like successful, black individuals?
As you’re showing your children how to be offended by questions about their hair, I hope you’ll also show them the rich heritage of successful, black individuals who have escaped the mindset of victimization.
According to them, it’s not just luck:
“My book tells people of how I came from growing up working numerous jobs taking advantage of all kinds of opportunities and advancing myself…and I never fell for the victim blame game. Blaming white Americans, for example, because of the failures that are happening in the Black Community…
And so I think my story is a great story, especially for young people, to see that if I can do it and I can achieve success, you can do it, too, no matter what your circumstances are or what your family situation happens to be.”
So, that’s your dose of encouragement for the day.
In this country, you can achieve success, no matter your circumstances or family situation!
That means your black child can be successful, too! …Even if you make it difficult by victimizing him! (Let’s still try not to do that, mmmkay?)