Monday, December 1, 2014

You know I have a black daughter, right?

There has been so much talk of Ferguson these past few days since the verdict came out and I was inundated with news coverage while at a certain relative's house over Thanksgiving who had the Fox News going non-stop.  I've heard too many opinions on Ferguson from white people.  So, honestly I've struggled with if I should even write about this, but I just can't let it go.

I will try to be brief.

I do not know what really happened the day Mike Brown died.  I am not pointing fingers or taking sides.

But, I can tell you the whole thing feels different when you are the parent of a black child.  Really different.

I know what it feels like to parent white children and now for three years since we adopted our youngest, I am learning what it feels like to parent a black child.

It shouldn't be all that different, right?  Well, except for hair and skin care.  Only, unfortunately, there are things that ARE different because of the way others may judge my black child.

For example, when I just parented white children, it never occurred to me to coach them on what to do if approached by the police.  "Police are your friends, they are your helpers, the safe people," is probably what I said.  And I never thought about going over with my kids about how to conduct themselves in department stores when they are old enough to shop without me.  Things like, "don't put your hands in your pockets," "don't carry a large purse," "always have your receipt with you for things you've bought," "do not dig around in your purse while in the middle of a store."  Because I do not follow those rules myself.

The hard reality that the world may judge my two precious daughters, who decked out in princess attire just yesterday, differently, possibly assuming negative things about my Ethiopian daughter just because she is black, is heartbreaking!  But, it is a reality for her, and thus me, as her mom.

Racism is still a problem in our country.  I recently got a comment from a white person that caused my head to spin around and the only thing I could think to say was, "You know I have a black daughter, right?"

So many people have spoken their minds but I say, don't be so quick to speak your opinions on Ferguson, instead, look within yourself to see if you are in any way part of the problem and find a way to love.

I love the example the 12 year old boy in this picture (click link) gives to the rest of us!

And, in the spirit of developing empathy, here are black moms sharing with white moms about the race talk.

We have a lot to learn!  May God give us wisdom and compassion!

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