I, like many, have been struggling with the events in Ferguson, MO.
It’s hard to get the words out, and nothing seems right. So I’m going to first do what is most important right now: LISTEN TO PEOPLE OF COLOR and HEAR their experiences. These are women I know, love, and respect. I think their words really say it all and then some.
“…it is hunting season for our children and truly it always has been. The world has no love for dark people… Black people. And no matter what I say the truth shows up everyday.”- Babz Rawls Ivy
Kelly Wickham brings our attention to Fannie Lou Hamer. Why? Because Hamer said,
“Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, where our lives be threatened daily, because we want to live as decent human beings?”
Jasmine Banks makes sure that everyone who is “tired” keeps talking and listening…why? Read just a snippet of her status update and then go read more,
“When Isaiah came home from Pre-K at only 4 years of age and told me he hated being brown because the little boy he wanted to be friends didn’t like brown people.
Addison crying because she hates Princess Tiana because she is a frog and not a real pretty Disney Princess.
The lady who looked shocked and asked me if Tobias was adopted because he was light and ‘you kind of look black, but why does he not look black at all?’
How about we talk about how I try to maintain normal life in my very small, very white town? How do I look some of these folks in the eye when I quietly observe their racist and hateful status updates on my newsfeed. ‘Those people are just thugs’ ‘So what if he didn’t have a gun, Black people don’t need to have guns to be dangerous, we proved that with Trayvon.’
You eat our food, listen to our music, and even laugh at the cultural references in our movies. You love the way the feel good storyline of The Help made you feel… you love our stories, as long as they don’t require you to look in the mirror too long, and face the fact that you’ve cherry-picked from our culture the comfortable beautiful parts while we still get to carry the burden of being Black. Still cultural mules to your cultural illiteracy.”
And then Briya, aka Undercovermamma had me sobbing with this,
“Last night I called my baby boy just to check in on him. With everything that’s going on, I had an overwhelming urge to hear his voice and make sure that he was okay…and that he knew that I loved him.
His response was to tell me that I was just being a mom.
And I said yes. Yes I am. And I reserve the right to be worried because the entire world has gone crazy.
This morning he called me and because I was in meeting I missed his call.
He called Nesto to get my work number and I guess they talked about how upset I’ve been about Ferguson
And how personally I’m taking it because this could happen to him. Or to Nesto. Or to any of the black men in my family.
And then he called me back to reassure me that he was okay, and not to worry.
But I do. Because I love him. Because he matters”
I’m not going to stop talking about Ferguson because it makes many of you uncomfortable. It’s well beyond time we leave our comfort zone in this racial discussion.