Just heard the news today, it’s a hot mess out there. My heart is heavy, heavy for change, heavy because I am a mother of two black boys whose black skin strips all innocence from them at only 11 and 13. Our boys do not get to experience childhood without learning about the social injustice and prejudice of being born with black skin and how they may be perceived as a threat to non-blacks simply because of this fact: they are black! They start the race of life with the disadvantage brought about by their skin color.
How does a mother’s heart take in all the facts about prejudices and stereotypes that continue to rear its head over and over again for decades without being deeply affected?
It’s a scary thing coming to grips with the idea of white privilege and or supremacy without being bothered and even angered. It’s definitely not a fair game and I don’t believe our nation as a whole didn’t care enough until now to make a call for change.
Throughout these past weeks of great pain, I’ve been forced to ask myself a very important question; where does my FAITH stand in all of this? Does God care about me? About my family, our children, does God care about black people? All the religious fanatics out there, don’t stone me, it’s a legitimate and personal question that I’ve address to God. God was asked many questions by people in the Bible. Their questions were sincere and did not offend God because he always searches the heart of the person asking the question. For me, God response was, “do you trust me?” Do you trust me with your family, with your children, with your life? Do you have faith that “ if “I AM” is for you, who can be against you? Do you believe that I am fighting for you? Do you believe that I am sovereign and I am still in control?
And I had to make a decision whether to continue in fear and discouragement or have faith that God is bigger than anything we face and that HE will help us through whatever obstacles come our way. That we are here for such a time as this.
It is not easy being black in America. There are a lot of white people that will never understand or empathize with the struggle we find ourselves faced with EVERY DAY, but there are also many white people who acknowledge the social injustice and the unfair treatment of black and are standing in solidarity. There are a lot more people aware of the plight of blacks and our fight to just be treated humanly. There are still people who believe in white supremacy and are still pushing for and carrying out cruel and hellish treatment towards black people. It’s unsettling.
But if you are a white person, I employ you not to turn a blind eye, not to ignore what’s happening, not to justify the unjust treatment we have suffered, not to think we are overreacting, but to open your heart to your brothers and sisters who are tired, frustrated, angry, discouraged, and disheartened about a struggle that have left mothers without sons, sons without fathers, mothers without husbands and so on and so forth. Our cries have gotten louder because there has not been substantial CHANGE. We are still waiting for Martin Luther King’s words to ring true “ that we will not be judge by the color of our skin but by the content of our character.”
I wasn’t always aware of “White Privilege”.
I grew up in Jamaica where all my friends, whether Indian, White, Asian, or Black, we were all considered Jamaicans. When I migrated to the U.S. our mindset was no different. People were people regardless of their skin color. Over the years my friends have been men and women of all colors and creeds with little thought about racial divides.
However, later in my adult life, I learned that “White Privilege” was a real thing that exists regardless of my ignorance. In the words of Emmanuel Acho, “White Privilege is having a head start due to hundreds of years of systematic and systemic racism. It’s having a head start intrinsically built into your life. It’s not saying your life hasn’t been hard but it’s saying that your skin color hasn’t contributed to the difficulty in your life”
Hmmm, take a minute to think about that and if you are a white person I hope your level of compassion has increased for your black brothers and sisters, and if you are black I hope you will take a moment with me to have faith beyond what we can see right now and trust that change will come.
Change for our future, change for all of humanity. Change, because our sons deserve to grow up in a country, a world where they have equal rights and opportunities to be their greatest selves. A world where they have a fair chance in the race of life.
Isn’t that every mother’s desire? For their children to grow up and be successful.
I trust they will have that chance!
From a Mother’s Heart