I’ve been awake since a little after my husband left for work this morning, which means it is 7:00 am and I’ve already been up for 3 hours. I’ve been on Facebook, just killing time before tackling the day. Have you ever just sat down and watched all the videos your friends post? It is kind of enlightening and shows you the kind of people you are friends with. Shows you what touches their hearts, what makes them laugh, what causes are important to them. Well, this mornig I’ve spent several hours just watching videos, which is rare for me. If there is ever something I just automatically scroll past, it’s videos. But not today. Today I’ve watched videos about cooking. I’ve watched anti-bullying videos. I’ve watched some comedy. BUT the video that is now weighing heavily on my heart is the “I’m Not Racist” raps that are now circulating. I’ve watched two. And that was plenty for me.
I’m not political. This is NOT a political blog. I’m not one to publically speak about racism. I will comment on occasion, and I will gladly answer any questions and listen with an open mind. But I do not go out seeking this type of interaction. I’ve guided my son and made every effort to teach him what he will encounter in the world. He’s even learned some of it first hand. However, sometimes as a mom, you see things that really bother you and you just can’t sit by and say NOTHING.
Here is a little background for those of you that do not know me. I’m a 33 year old white mother. At 15 years old I went on my first date. We became high school sweethearts and we were the couple that was going to grow old together. We were together on and off for 8 years. I grew up in a small town in central Alabama in a time where it was still taboo for white girls to date black boys. But I did it anyway, because I was never raised to acknowledge race in that way. The guy was cool, he asked me out, I said yes. His skin color was a non factor. In fact, it didn’t even enter my mind that dating this boy would be a problem until one of my black girl friends asked me what my daddy thought about my dating a black boy. That was the first time I understood racism existed. Fast forward 8 years later. We are planning our life together. We are going to get married. And I get pregnant. Unplanned. Through my entire pregnancy he assures me that he will be right there with me, helping me the entire way. Long story short, I called him the day I had the baby and he hung up in my face. It was a full 24 hours before I heard from him again. Our son was a micro preemie and was in the hospital for 56 days. His dad came to see him one time. I will add that he DID live in a different state than us at the time. It was a 5 hour drive to where I lived, 4 hours to where our some was in the hospital. For two years I begged this man to have a relationship with his son. He chose not to, so I stopped trying. My son is 10. He hasn’t seen his biological father in 8 years. That one hospital visit remains to be the ONLY time he has come to see his son. Every other time he saw him was because I drove to him.
Fast forward a couple of years. I married a man. Turns out this man was EXTREMELY racist. He HATED black people. His parents didn’t like black people. In fact, I was told they moved from their home to a more expensive neighborhood because they wanted white neighbors and black people couldn’t afford to live in that area. Here’s the catch. My husband was black. His entire family was black. Yet, they hated black people. Crazy right. Long story short in this case, he was very abusive both physically and emotionally. And unfaithful. But being the forgiving type, I tried to make that marriage work…but one day he decided he was done. He told me he was going to work and never came back. During the divorce, I asked him if he would like to still have a relationship with my son. They were buddies and he was the only father my son could remember. His answer was “I don’t know” which was as good as a no for me. So we cut ties completely.
My son was in 1st grade when I realized how much my ex-husband had influenced him. My bi-racial, half black son didn’t like black people. I was devistated. This is not the kind of child I wanted to raise. This hurt me to my soul. I’ve since spent hours and hours teaching my little boy that the color of the skin does not make the man. He was hurt by two men that happened to be black, not by two BLACK men. I introduced him to some AMAZING black men in my life so he could understand that ALL black men weren’t out to hurt him. All black men weren’t bad. My husband has also been very instrumental in teaching my son that skin color is just that, a color. Black is beautiful, White is as well. He’s 10 years old now and very proud of his black heritage.
So….what was it that bothered me so much about these videos and what do they have to do with me and my family?
This portion of my message goes out to the white men (and women where necessary)….Do all white men have jobs? Do all white men take care of their kids? Are there white men in prison? Do white people kill other white people? Are there white people on welfare? If you are honest and answer these questions honestly, you know where I am going. Black people aren’t the PROBLEM. Society, as a whole, is the problem. You say that you provide these people with walfare to live off of? Okay. Great. But guess what. Even if all the black people in this country were no longer on welfare, you’d still be paying those taxes. That’s right. Hate to burst your self righteous bubble but those folks up there in D.C. aren’t gonna lower your taxes. They are too greedy and will just funnel that money somewhere else. Then you say that black men make babies and refuse to man up and be fathers. How is that YOUR business? Seriously. How is MY son YOUR problem? His biological father decided he didn’t want him and that makes YOU mad? Why? I’ve been no kind of burden on you or your paycheck. If it’s not your child, stepchild, or grandchild then please sit down and be quiet. Nobody cares if you have an opinion on this situation. Not ONE person. So just stop. You don’t like their style or their music or how they interact, ok. Then ignore it. Go on about your lives and let them do the same. Stop reaching. Stop fueling a fire that should have been put out a long time ago. You are NOT helping.
And this portion is to the black men (and women, where appropriate)…..Stop it. Just stop. I don’t want to hear your excuses. I don’t care how “hard” it is to be a father. I don’t want to hear how hard it is to find a job. I don’t care if you were ready to have babies, you had em. She probably wasn’t ready to have babies either. I know I wasn’t. But guess what. I stood up and became a woman. I raised my son even though I did not want kids. That’s right. You read it right. At 22, I was in college living my life and kids were NOT going to be a part of it. But guess what. Life happens. Plans change. I got pregnant. I didn’t wimp out, say I wasn’t ready and just abandon my kid. I handled business. And guess what. Guess how I provided for that baby. Working a dead end fast food job. There are jobs EVERYwhere. Sometimes you just gotta put your pride away and take what you can find until you can find something better.
So you hate white men but you aren’t racist. You are justified. That’s what I heard. That’s what that guy rapped and all of you LOVED it. Okay. You’re justified. Alright, which one of you provided the slave labor? Which one of you came over on slave ships? Which one of these white men took a whip to you? Or your mom? Which of these white men sold your dad to another slave owner and that’s why he isn’t around? Which one of these white men held a gun to your head and forced you to go out in the street and sell whatever the latest and greatest drug is? Which one of those white men forced you in to a gang and in to street life? Which one told you not to go see your new born son? Which one told you to disrespect your girlfriend? You wife? Justified? No. I don’t think so. Angry? Yes. Justified? No. You are ANGRY about these cop killings but please, sit down and think about what you are saying. How many of these would you REALLY be angry about if they were white? Or Hispanic? If this was TRULY about justice, you would be able to say ALL of them. But it’s not. I would venture to say that you would only be upset about one, MAYBE. Because if you sit down and read the files, actually read the reports and you were not given a race for each of these folks, you would say the same thing many others are….they were doing wrong, they directly disobeied an order from an officer of the law, and this is the outcome. I’m sure with better training, some of these shootings could have been prevented but please, please stop pretending these men were upstanding citizens that were gunned down in cold blood. That’s simply not the case. The way you are acting, this anger and hatred it’s not helping. It isn’t fixing anything and likely never will. Please think about your actions, think about what you are doing. Would Dr. King be proud to have you fighting beside him? If not, perhaps you need to reevaluate the way you are doing things.
And this message is for everyone. I have lost friends to the streets. I’ve lost friends to prison. I have friends on welfare. I have gay friends. I have atheist friends. I have black friends. I have Hispanic friends. And I love you all dearly. I know some of you are hurting. I know some of you are battling things that none of us even know about. Do we really want to spend what little time we have here on this earth fighting about who deserves how much hatred? Why not try loving others and see what happens because obviously the hatred and racism isn’t working.
I have one last story to leave with you as I know this is a more lengthy post. My son is 10. He is the most loveable kid you will ever meet. He lights up any room he walks in to just from his personality. He has no idea that people hate him because he is black. e as no idea people hate hime because he is white. It doesn’t matter how many times we talk about it, he just can’t comprehend that type of hatred. We were out to eat a couple weeks ago. He had just finished a hockey game and we went to a buffet. I’d gotten my food and gone back to the table. My son and husband were still at the bar. When they came back, my husband had this look on his face. Something was VERY wrong. What is it…..My child was walking up to the bar to fill his plate. At the same time a white woman was approaching the opposite side of the bar. She looked at my son wit disgust and said, “I have completely lost my appitite now”. Let that sink in. My son is ten. He’s got curly hair. He was a little sweaty from his game, but he’s very OBVIOUSLY a kid. Thankfully, my husband was there with him and heard this. Now, my husband is Irish and he has an Irish temper. I have NO doubt that if this had not been a woman, he would have knocked her lights out. But it happened the way it did for a reason. He walked up behind her and very quietly as to not make a scene said (And I’ll summerize because well, I like to keep things fairly clean here) “If I ever hear you say something like that again, I will knock your teeth out”. Thankfully, my son is still pretty innocent and [always] hungry so he did not make the connection between what the woman said and himself. I DID explain it to him later because I fully believe this is something he needs to be aware of since we won’t always been there to protect him. I don’t care what color you are. I want you to picture a ten year old child. He or she can be whatever color you desire, but close your eyes and picture him. He has just encounted an adult. He’s doing nothing except getting himself something to eat. How would you treat that child? What if that child was a different color? Would you treat him the same? What about if that child was 14? or 18? At what point does it become OKAY to treat someone poorly becauase of what color they are? If it isn’t okay at 10 years old, it’s not okay at 20 or 50. You don’t have to like me. There are PLENTY of people that don’t like me. But rest assured, they don’t dislike me because I am a white woman. They dislike me because of ME, because of my personality, because of our interactions together. It’s okay to dislike people because of WHO THEY ARE. Black is not WHO they are. White is not WHO they are. It’s a color. And disliking someone for a color is childish and makes you look like a punk.