Before adopting I didn’t really know about ‘white privilege”. Maybe I did, but honestly, I really didn’t give it much thought. But now that my heart is intertwined within several cultures/races I am hyper aware of how races, other than whites are treated in the United States.
I would be doing my children a huge disservice if I did not try to ‘walk a mile’ in their shoes, if I did not help to prepare them for their futures, as Black-Americans and as Latino-Americans.
We (Whites) don’t like talking about race. It makes us uncomfortable, mainly because we are afraid we’ll say the wrong thing. But the conversations need to begin and continue, and not stop until the ignorance, fear and misunderstandings are replaced with love and acceptance . I have found that my children have helped me bridge those uncomfortable conversations. When it comes to our children, we are often forced out of our comfort zone to act on behalf of them. We often do for them things we would have never done for ourselves.
The conversations I have had with my children so far, are very generic and have just begun to scratch the surface of topics like Martin Luther King, Slavery, and the injustices against the Maya in Guatemala. As they mature, so will our conversations. My hope is that I can stay at least 2 steps ahead of the stupidity and racism, preparing them in an age appropriate and realistic way for the future.
I don’t know what happened to Michael Brown on that evening in Ferguson, MO, but he deserves the same due-diligence we would give any one of our teenage sons gunned down in their youth. Every time I see in the news that another Black teenager has been gunned down I think of the conversations I will have to have with my sons. They are not allowed the privilege of throwing on a sweatshirt and looking ‘sloppy’, for fear of being labeled a ‘thug’, or pulled over and asked for their ‘papers’.
Until we join hands and become that “One World, One Love” Bob Marley sang about almost 40 years ago, I will continue to weep with the Mother’s of the sons that are unnecessarily judged, harassed and yes sometimes killed because they did not posses the privilege of being white in America.