Moms, I need your help. Three of my children are black and they have suffered horrible overt racism. They have also suffered more subtle racism.
I’m sharing this because I NEED you to talk to your kids. I need you to educate your kids. I often wonder if the parents of the kids who have done these things to my kids know what their children have done.
These are just a few things that my black kids have suffered:
- my son had kids he didn’t even know throw rocks at him and chase him at the bike park while calling him the “n” word
- my teen son had to move to a different high school after suffering extreme racism. He was daily called the “n” word, for weeks after his Social class watched Amistad, he was called “slave”, and the final straw, when he went to sit down with his ‘friends’ at lunch, he was told “you can’t sit here. We’ve joined the KKK”.
- when I went to the administration at that school, I was told that my son would “have to get used to that in his life” because he was black.
- none of the students who admitted to those behaviours received suspensions even though IF my son had hit them, he would have been suspended or possibly expelled.
- at the new school, that same son has been called “shadow” and “Oreo” (because he has white parents so they joke that he’s black on the outside and white on the inside)
- treating our black daughter as an adult (she’s 14) for about the last 5 years such as her being given wine menus in restaurants. Research shows that white people see kids of colour, especially girls, as being much older than they are
- being called the “n” word at the playground even as young children
- my two black sons were pulled over by police while taking my husband’s car to the car wash. They were ticketed for a rolling stop, but it was a full stop and an excuse to pull over two black teens driving a nice car to check if they stole it. almost $400 ticket for being black.
My daughter wrote a poem and asked me to share it. It breaks my heart that she is afraid that she could die because of the colour of her skin.
My kids are getting older and no longer always have me with them.
This is why I need you. As one mom to another, I’m begging you…
Please, please talk to your kids. But before you do, educate yourselves. Do not use terms like “colourblind”. Do not say “All Lives Matter.” Accept that you have white privilege and let that make you uncomfortable. Listen to the black community and the pain they have suffered and then do your part to make it right.
We can and should do better.
P.S. While I have written articles over the years on racism and books for kids about black heroes, instead of sharing those today, I would rather take this opportunity to point you to articles written by those who are black as it is their voices that should be heard above all right now. Here is just a small list to get you started:
- Dear White Moms: What I Need You to Know
- Helping Kids Process Violence, Trauma, and Race in a World of Nonstop News (and how to speak openly, honestly, and age-appropriately)
- Free printables, crafts, and colouring sheets with diverse characters
- 31 Children’s Books to Support Conversations on Race
- White Kids: Growing up with Privilege in a Racially Divided America (podcast on What is Black)
- The White Families’ Guide for Talking about Racism