Sunday, July 14, 2013

Raising White Boys

As I was putting the finishing touches on a summer fun post, I couldn't bring myself to publish it today, because my thoughts today are heavier and bigger than our trips to the park. Don't worry those incredible memories will still get published, just not today. Today, in the wake of the Zimmerman verdict, I look at my boys, my beautiful perfect little boys and I'm very aware that I'm raising 3 white boys in America. What does this mean? This means I'm raising 3 children who have been granted privileges and rights that they have not earned. They have these rights simply because they are white and male in our society. This also means my responsibility as a mother just became bigger as this verdict made it very apparent that our country has a long way to go. I will keep this short and sweet as I share my hopes for all of us who are in this parenting village together.

To all the parents of white children, especially white boys, please understand that color blind is not the way to raise them, color aware is. We need to be able to see each other in all our glorious differences and understand that the physical ones are not the ones which should afford us our rights and priviliges rather the moral decisions we make day to day. As our children choose how to treat each other, let them recognize our differences as an attribute, not a detriment to our society. If my generation can't get it right, please let them be the generation that truly affords the privileges which they did not earn, yet received, to all their fellow human beings.

To my friends who are the parents of brown children, I'm truly sorry that you continue to live in a country where you must fear for your children's safety in a way that I will never understand. It weighs heavy on my heart that this fear is so very real. If there is one thing I do right as a parent, it will be to raise my children to respect yours.

To those who are disturbed by my statement that we should not be color blind, I simply say, if we are blind to a problem we cannot fix it. Let us celebrate our differences and learn to hold our judgements until we know the heart and the brains and the soul behind the skin.