Do you know what it’s like to worry about your children? Correction – do you know what it’s like to worry about ‘black’ children? I know some will ponder the question “Why does it have to be ‘black’ children? Why can’t it be just children in general?” I’m glad you asked.
I am not going to go into a history lesson because I am sure you know where I am going with this. So just hear me out. I am proud to be a black woman. I will ALWAYS be a black woman. I will die a black woman. However, I will forever have 2 strikes against me. I am black and I am a woman. Growing up, I encountered racism because of the color of my skin. I am not at all on the light side if the color spectrum. So my darker complexion was always a part of ridicule and/or the nasty looks. I had always felt inferior to my lighter counterparts. But I realized earlier on that it didn’t matter how much melanin someone had. Black is black … period.
When I had children, I had hopes of better race relations in the world as they got older. But, I had to deal with my young daughter crying her beautiful brown eyes out because her caucasian friend said her mother didn’t want her playing with my daughter. Then, my young son came home telling me the caucasian boys were yelling the N-word outside of the school bus window. Even I had to deal with racial bias at my job. My word was not worth the ground I walked on compared to my higher-up, even though I had been there eight years longer.
It seemed as the years went by, more racial tension among people became more open, especially when Barack Obama became our 44th President. As of today with the current president in office, racial tensions and injustices are at an all time high. More and more black men (and women) are being profiled and targeted, on purpose or by accident, by law enforcement officers that are supposed to protect and serve our citizens. There are also people who actually feel it is their civil duty to take the law into their own hands without consequences for their actions. And THIS is why my anxiety level is at maximum level. I am afraid for my ‘black’ son to go to a corner store at night just to get gas and a late night snack (Trayvon Martin). I am afraid because my ‘black’ daughter lives alone, not knowing if an arrest warrant will be issued at her door by mistake (Breonna Taylor). To be truthful, I am afraid to drive (Sandra Bland) to the store to pick up groceries for dinner. Why? Because in the eyes of many, I’m ‘black’. I am automatically a target. My blackness will always be a target in the eyes of racists. And trust me when I say, there are plenty of open and closet racists everywhere.
I pray that one day, before I leave this earth, I can stop worrying about the injustices of black lives. (I am 51 years old now. So these changes need to happy very soon!) My deepest and sincerest prayers go out to all of the victims and their families for the senseless killings that are plaguing our country. There are so many names of victims to write down but the list is astronomical. However, if you know at least one, a man or woman, say their name outloud and never forget – all lives can’t matter until BLACK LIVES MATTER, too!
Until next time … be blessed.