I can’t imagine raising a black child in 1962. The fears. The stress. The unfair treatment. The feelings of wishing your child didn’t have to experience the pain of the world that we live in. The worry of what happens when they are older. The judgements. The pre-conceived ideas. The looks. The stares. The unwelcoming attitudes.
Now it’s 2012 and I’ll tell you that I have those exact same worries for my black children, and especially my black boys. I always tell people that the true test of how well my boys are accepted in society is not how they are treated when they are 2 or 5 or even 10, but the true test is how they are treated when they are 15 and 17 and 18. That’s when we will feel the heat. Will some parents no longer think it’s cute that their little girl and my boys hold hands? Will it no longer be cute that my son likes to rap to Lecrae and dance to hip hop music when he’s 17 versus 7? When my black boy wants to date your white girl, then how cute is my little boy?
I have been thinking a lot about this as I read about all the media surrounding the killing of a young, black, teenage boy named Trayvon Martin. His death didn’t have to happen. He was an innocent boy walking in his neighborhood and now he is not here. He’s dead, because some man found him to be “suspicious”.
Y’all that will be my kid one day. Walking in his neighborhood with a hoodie on and someone could find him “suspicious”. This all hits way too close to home and there is a part of me that would rather not talk or think about it, because if I don’t think about it then maybe, just maybe it won’t happen to our family. If I refuse to let my mind go there, then maybe, just maybe my sweet kids will never be racially profiled. If I refuse to think about it, then maybe, just maybe my boys will never be accused of something just because of the color of their skin.
The only problem to all that is that I can’t stop thinking about it. Not when it’s my boys I’m thinking about.
Two great writers have done such a good job of talking about this. Head on over to Kristen’s blog to get LOTS of information on this. Literally you could spend your whole day reading all the articles that she has linked up for you. I know this, because I recently did this.
Then head over to Heather’s blog to read her riveting post called “and you wonder why I dress my boys the way I do”. It is so good. So good. She’s a mom to two black boys and talks about how in our society it matters what our black boys look like because people will conclude things about them based on their appearance. It’s good y’all.