In their young efforts to address my George Floyd despair, my boys offered me this: “Mom, he did have meth in his system and had been previously arrested for armed assault using a gun on a pregnant woman”. I scream silently to myself in my head “So fucking what if he did”.
Deep Breaths. I am grateful for this opportunity to support them in a deeper understanding of injustice and cruelty. I was able to explain that even IF those things are true, they are irrelevant in the matter of this murder. Every single police man’s job is to uphold and follow the law and to protect THE people. It is wrong, for even a policeman to kill unarmed and unthreatening people. That is murder. And the murdering of black people has been allowed since before even our parents were born.
What I pointed out: George Floyd was unarmed when he was fully apprehended, incapacitated, and righteously murdered, for sport, on camera with three policemen standing by, unopposed— This is the same terrifying culture which shames victims of rape and abuse by white men –by bringing up something the victim may have done or not done, which somehow makes them them responsible for the behavior of an abuser. Abusers cause abuse, not the victims, ever.
I did not burden my children with cases of other unarmed victims of murder by our law enforcement officers. (Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Stephon Clark, Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling, Eric Garner, Laquan McDonald) My two sons are still young and in disbelief over what lawless police are willing and able to do– to a person who is vulnerable, perhaps even a small child, and black. Yet, there is the cordial escorting of a white, heavily armed, mass shooter of blacks, to Burger King, for a goddam sammich.
NOW, when we see a black man, instead of worrying about what he might do to us, we will consider what might happen to him—just for being black. I realize that the threat is to all black and brown people, not just black men, but I also am admitting my own normalized fear of black men. To be honest, I have always been more afraid of redneck men. They are the scariest of all. But my fear of white men, costs them nothing and makes sense. My fear of black men was programmed into me by media and it is wrong and damaging.
My growing awareness for the privilege and safety of my non-black skin is intense and sits along side my acknowledgment that I do not have to worry for my two fair skinned boys, as a mother of black sons would. I cannot imagine the terror of sending black sons off to school, work, an errand…. Black mamas and sisters, I see you, too. #BLACKLIVESMATTERMuch Love,
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