I am not sure where to go with this post, as I didn’t (but I never do) pre-write anything. However, I don’t have any pre-thoughts either. I am going to let my fingers talk for me. Forgive me for being in my feelings.
I would consider myself a radical… but I’m not about to “die for the cause.” I would call myself racist except I feel like Bob Knight… “I hate everyone equally.” But what I can confirm without the shadow of the doubt no one can ever question any of the following statements about me if they truly know me: I am a lover, a mother, a friend, a supporter, I’m loyal but my anger and wrath know no boundaries if I’m pushed.
I have a three year old son, who I may mention in passing a lot because, he’s one of the few things I’ve done right in my life. He’s growing to be, however bossy, pushy and demanding, a very smart, handsome and loving young boy. We’ve made quite an advancement from my worries of his speech. The doctors still have concerns, but since he talks up a storm and doesn’t talk to strangers, I’m not worried. (Crazy part is, he’s able to distinguish -atleast I think- what he defines as an attractive woman and a unattractive woman. He won’t talk to the old nurse practioners or the young non-cute ones. But let a cute one come in and he flashes the smile and chats her ears off. SMH. I’ve got to do better. lol)
We’re counting to 11, now I just have to get him to recognize what number is what when he sees it. We’re saying our ABCs, just getting him to recognize the letter in accordance to their sounds. Shapes, we’re good. Colors? Excellent. But my heartache comes in the form of raising a young black male.
I know he’s three and to some, I have time to worry about that later; but I feel differently. The kids these days are way more advanced than we were. I was never pregnant in high school, or middle school.. much less even THINKING about sex. So I have to worry about these fast ass (forgive my language) girls coming up. I have to worry about him hanging with the wrong group of boys. I have to worry about him being a stubborn, bad tempered, sarcastic, defiant boy… most definitely traits of his father… because he CLEARLY couldn’t have gotten any of those traits from me 😀
But now I have to even worry about him “fitting the description.” Every REAL black woman and man’s fear. How do I raise my child to be fearless, independent and safe without losing his identity, being submissive and/or being bullied? How do I tell him that not every police officer is a bad guy? I already have to tell him that not everyone he says “hi” or “bye” to will respond or even acknowledge his presence. (Of course, while I’m there, if they conveniently can’t hear them, I announce that he said hi or bye 😀 it’s the mom in me.) But how do I tell him to obey when he knows he’s not wrong?
My son will undeniably be labeled a thug, a punk, a “gangsta” for no reason other than his sheer size. He’s damn near four feet tall and he’s been 3 for four months. He’s 40 pounds and growing. But he loves hugs and smooches from his mommy. Yet, when he’s 8 to 12, and he’ll clearly be taller than me by then, he’ll be feared by many only because he’ll have a man-like appearance.
The point is… I fear for my child’s safety. Because he’ll be a healthy size young man, because he’ll have his daddy’s attitude and mama’s attitude (HEAVEN FORBID he should have my thoughts and his father’s actions); because he’ll come across one way and never get the opportunity to show his genuine side. I fear that even if he does the right things and stays out of trouble and away/not associate with people in trouble, he’ll still be “one of them.” I pray that God covers him everyday and what will be shall be.
But I cannot ignore what my actions would be should harm come to him. Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown’s parents (saved for the latters stepfather) showed remarkable restraint. I know violence begets more violence, but this is my only child. I cannot say that I wouldn’t be emotional… I don’t think any REAL parents would be emotionally disattached, I most definitely couldn’t say I’d be rational and calm. I’m not too hype of a person, but for my one and only… my first, my last, my everything…. I can’t say I wouldn’t wind up in jail. But I can’t imagine having to live with the pain of my child being gunned down (by anyone). I hope and pray that I never have to experience that. He’ll go through racism, things I cannot control. It will happen, it’s happened to me.
My heart aches out for black lives lost and our young black men. #dontshoot #blacklivesmatter And while we acknowledge there is black on black crime that accounts for a majority of black lives lost (as white on white crimes account for a majority of whites lives lost and so and so forth), something must prevent people in positions of authority and power making incorrect excessive force calls. And keep in mind, you’ve had so-called officers handcuffed black young men and placed them into the back of their cruiser for the young black men to alleged shoot themselves to death. I’m not going to get into that here but 1. I thought ALL cops searched the suspect right after they handcuffed them. 2. how’d they miss a gun when he’s handcuffed and 3. howd he get the gun out, place it in his dominate hand (while handcuffed) and pull the trigger without you noticing?
Please pray for our young ones and make this world better. And this is not an anti-white or anti anyone else piece. My friends come in all colors, sizes, races/ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations and intelligence. But I will not deny that I am an educated black female and I carry myself as such.
“If I can die having brought any light, having exposed any meaningful truth that will help to destroy the racist cancer that is malignant in the body of America, then all of the credit is due to Allah. Only the mistakes have been mine.” -Al Hajj Malik Shabazz (aka Malcolm X 1965)