“Are you ready for this?”, He said to me. “Are you ready to have a black child in America? Are you ready to have people not like your kids because of who they are? Are you ready to take that on? Because THIS is a lifelong battle.”
****HUGE DEEP BREATH***
I knew it might not always be easy, but I also had NO IDEA that racism would express itself so freely in the next coming years….
This is the conversation my husband had with me when we were talking seriously about having a baby.
Can we just stop right here for a second? On what planet does someone need to have a conversation like this when talking about the most joyful thing one can conceive of, having a baby? I knew racism existed, I had experienced it myself along with my dad and brother, but I did not fully understand the depths at which it was still very much coursing through our American veins. In fact, I had completely and naively thought we were on the other side of that very ugly mountain…until 3 weeks ago.
I had actually seen the signs of the hate that comes with racist views over the past couple of years. They were sprinkled here and there and spread out far enough for me to recognize them but not see them as an immediate threat. This looked like the neighbor who sported his iron cross tattoo and his Blue Lives Matter sticker on his car. It looked like the neighbor who came to my doorstep and called my husband the N word as well as the neighbor who hung a swastika above their front door. It was all disturbing (to say the least) but in the words of my husband, you can be a racist (if that’s your thing), just not on my doorstep. And over the years I would see on the news a black person killed at the hands of police brutality….and then it was more and more and more.
I am naïve to it all, painfully naïve.
When the video surfaced of George Floyd, I couldn’t watch it. The images were disturbing enough. The spirit of his mother must be completely and utterly heartbroken because it broke me. It broke me in ways that I didn’t know were possible. Is this what my son has to worry about? Is he going to have to be extra cautious around the police? In the general public? Driving down the street? And what about my husband? The police don’t know that he is the most kind, thoughtful, caring human, they just see that he is a black man.
When I reminded my husband of the conversation we had before having our daughter, he admitted that he thought that we, as a collective, were a lot farther along on this race issue than we actually are. Me too! What happened? How did we fall back so far? Obviously, racists were still very much present, but they were more in hiding than they are now. They weren’t so forthcoming with their hate-at least I didn’t see it as much. These past 4 years in America have revealed some deep dark shadows about the culture of our country. Racists are being called “very fine people”. If that’s not permission from the leader of the free world to express your hate, I don’t know what is.
Everything I thought I knew has been chewed up and spit out. Every ounce of security for the safety of my black family has dissolved. I now have to consider what I never EVER thought I would have to consider-I thought we were better than this. All kinds of new questions are coming up for me; When do I have THE conversation with my kids? How am I supposed to tell them the history of the United States-the real history, the history that is not in the books? How am I supposed to tell them any of it without them now feeling less than? How do you share with them the truth without crushing their spirits? Why do I even have to think of these things? With the Lynchings here in California and Texas over the past few days, I am now terrified of my husband leaving the house. It’s all maddening, ALL OF IT. Seeing the hateful messages on social media, some from members of my own extended family. Seeing that people are cheering on the deaths of these individuals and claiming that they deserved to die the way they did. Seeing the hate that has been poured onto this country like warm blood shed that is seeping into the tiny cracks of people who claim to love GOD and Jesus, the follower of LOVE- IT IS ALL SO MADDENING. I don’t understand how people can think this way, and you know what? I’m so glad I don’t understand. It must be a pretty miserable life to hold onto such hate. I’ve had several sleepless nights over the past few weeks. I’ve shed more tears than my eyes can handle, and I’ve learned some pretty awful details about the history of slavery and how black people and those of color, in America are treated. I’m so incredibly mad about it all but mostly, mostly I’m am so, so deeply sad.
I’ve also learned this;
- I have more work to do as far as getting educated on how to be an ANTI-RACIST, not just being ‘not racist’. I signed myself up for a 4-week program that dives deep into this exact thing. Knowledge is power.
- The world has come together to fight this ugly fight and I am speechless. Every single state in this country and dozens of international countries have protested for love and equality. This is the largest civil rights movement in history!
- People that I thought would be riding for the Black Lives Matter movement, aren’t. And while it’s hard for me to understand why anyone wouldn’t want EVERYONE to be treated fairly, some people just aren’t there yet. We are all on our own journey and I have to be okay with that…but I’ll still probably unfollow you ;P.
- People that I didn’t expect to be for the Black Lives Matter movement ARE!!! I truly have had the opportunity to see people’s true colors and I am grateful for all the support.
- I’ve learned that sitting back and watching is no longer the right move for me. My family is literally on the line. My momma showed me how to be a momma bear and, honey, I’ve got my claws out. And for those that know, Sekhmet is ready to eat.
- I need to do better about supporting black owned businesses. Here are a few that have been brought to my attention. Black Girl Magic Wine, Cloud 9 Bakers, Tassili’s Raw Reality.
- Doubting GODs creations (all things) by claiming superiority (one race is better than the over) is basically telling GOD that he did a bad job. Now, tell me how that’s possible?
And the biggest take away from all of this for me;
I am married to a beautiful black man who went halfsies on some beautiful black babies with me. They are intelligent, considerate, thoughtful, worthy, and WORTH some serious systematic change. I have zero interest in hearing about anything else at the moment. If the conversation is not about how to fix THIS issue, not any other issue (there are too many to count and, yes, they are all important) you are missing the point. This is not a blue or red issue. This is a human rights issue. This is not all for show for an election year, this is a real problem that is happening day after day, month after month, year after year regardless of there being an election on the line. This is not only about a legal system problem, this about inappropriate policing. This is not a you versus me thing, this is a you AND me thing coming together to make our wrongs, right.
Let’s make this right. Let’s take care of each other. Let’s make sure that there is no one left behind. Let’s make sure that our children grow from love and acceptance. Let’s make sure that we remember that we are connected by the same strand of universal love and that by pinning ideas/issues/people against each other draped in a political flag, we are forgetting where we come from.
I’m desperately ready for some radical change, this shizzz is personal. Black Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, & I’ll say it again for the people in the back, BLACK LIVES MATTER.
In good health,