My 14 year old and 16 year old daughters received gifts from one of their Aunties for Christmas. Its a sweatshirt that represents the beauty it is to be black. Its a sweatshirt from Black Republic & Company that says on the front, “I’m Black Whats Your Super Power?” It’s a shirt that uplifted my daughters spirits throughout the many racist comments made daily.
Now me, I am the parent that has all types of activism shirts that I wear in the concession stands at the high school football games. I have shirts that stand with Planned Parenthood, the LGBT community, and several that stand for Black Lives Matter! NO ONE and I mean NO ONE has come for me. But today, this little boy broke my 14 year old daughters heart and scared her. He told her “I know what my Super Power is, its making a noose.”
Pause. This little boy said a noose… like wrap around a black persons neck and hang them – noose, strange fruit – noose. Really? Deep breath!
First of all – the amount of curse words and closed fist punches to the throat I thought of doing to this kid, but I had to calm down, explain the situation to my child about the evil words of those who do not like us, even though they have no reason. I struggled to control myself, that was not just a racist comment, but a threat to my child’s life. Thats how I took it, and I have every intent to treat it like that.
Before I could even say I would be at the school the next morning, she said the Principal will not take reports of racism, he will send you to the Assistant Principal. The same one who acts like she doesn’t know that racism exists, even though she’s black. I wish they would say the sweatshirt is the problem, I will have every black person I know with the same hoodie on protesting on their front lawns. The problem is someone’s parent taught them that it was ok to disrespect my child who is black. The problem is that the leader of this country has racist people opening their mouths again like we will not beat the shit out of them.
Let me catch my breath.
But how do you talk to your child about racism? About the symbolism of the noose? How do you make them feel safe in a community that is only sprinkled with a few black faces? How do you make them feel like their skin is not the problem, but the ignorance of the others are. How when they hear these comments from more than just one little privileged white boy.
I always push unity, but we cannot begin to talk unity until we admit and acknowledge that racism is still alive and growing in 2018!
I had the talk, you know the talk that was on Grey’s Anatomy last week, the talk that was on a few commercials that white people everywhere was upset about. The talk that EVERY black parent has had with their child. The talk that explains to her that there is no escaping this, no matter where we go racism is there. We cannot hide the color of our skin, but we can fight so we never let another person make us feel like she felt today. You know the one white people don’t want to admit is real, because then they would have to admit that RACISM IS REAL! Its real and its hurtful. I never thought I would have to explain this today, Arkansas once again, I hyped you up and once again, I have been disappointed.