Greetings BrownGurls! I hope everyone is well! Under the circumstances, this past week has been quite stressful for all of us. The death of George Floyd and the international response to this tragedy has proven to be more than any of us ever anticipated.
Personally, this whole situation has left me with feelings of anger, hopelessness and despair. It’s disheartening to know that there are people in our society who wish harm upon myself, family, and friends simply
because of the color of our skin – something over which we have no control; yet it tends to spark hate, anger and disgust.
I know that I am not alone when I say racism and the heinous acts associated with it have taken from me the idea that perhaps somehow, some way, on some level I will be looked upon as, at the very least, “capable.” Capable of being a contributing member of my society, capable of offering new ideas and solutions to enrich that society, capable of learning, sharing and creating…… Capable.
Instead, I’m reminded daily how incapable, inferior and intolerable my very existence is. Society tells me that I am more of a burden or nuisance, than an individual who possesses any amount of value, which would then imply I actually do have "some" worth.
What happened to Mr. Floyd over a week ago can happen to any black man, woman, or child at any time. It is for this very reason that I have raised my children to be respectful of EVERYONE, especially those in authority.
I have stressed upon them the importance of being self-sufficient, kind, caring, open-minded and diplomatic -- tools that I thought would assist them in living, working, surviving and flourishing in our society. Sadly, those virtues have fallen upon deaf ears and blind eyes because all society will ever see – is the color of their skin.
As a parent, this is most painful because I cannot “fix” this problem for them. I cannot call someone as I would a school teacher or principal and “make it right.” I cannot “settle the score” so to speak, as I would in paying their cell phone bill, nor can I "kiss their boo-boos" to make the pain of hate and judgement "magically disappear." This pain is visceral and it’s constant.
As their mother, what I can do is encourage them when they falter, provide guidance when they're lost and remind them when they forget........ Forget that they are not the EXCEPTION to the rule! They ARE the rule! And yes, they are also BROWN!