In raising The Bee I have tried my best to teach her what I would consider the basics: do your best, mind your manners, be kind. But there are also the rules that I must share with her that my mom shared with me: “You are a Black girl and people will assume the worst. People will judge you more harshly and test you daily.” As much as it hurts me that I have to put an extra burden on my little girl, I know that there are enough people who will try and make her feel less than, who will try to discourage and put her down, and it would be my folly if I didn’t prepare her.
|Watch out! She has a hood!|
It’s unfair. I know life isn’t fair and I should woman up but dammit, it’s unfair. No. It’s not right. Imagine having to tell your kid that no matter what they do or how they act some idiot is going to attempt to dismiss them with one glance? I had a parent dismiss a book recommendation once because he didn’t want to upset his kid with the idea of divorce. Imagine having to make your child aware that the way they look is going to be the excuse someone uses to to, I don’t know, shoot them?
I wish I had the luxury of keeping The Bee in a safe bubble, protecting her from the evils of the world but we cannot afford not to be aware. She’s always enjoyed an environment in which she has been appreciated for being herself but as she gets older and able to be on her own more I worry and prepare for the day when she will get the hate filled words of stupid bigotry hurled at her. I hope it never happens and I feel she could handle it but why should this be a part of her training? Isn’t school and tweendom hard enough? Now there is the added lesson of the do’s and don’ts of being a Black Child?
The phrase “post-racial” bangs about through my head. I suppose there are slices of life that could be considered post-racial but this rule is negated when one can be targeted because they “don’t look like they belong.” Watching the Trayvon Martin coverage with The Bee we will discuss the case and I listen to her tween outrage. “Zimmerman should be in jail!” she will shout arguing with the television. She cannot understand why Zimmerman is still allowed to be free after being told that people who kill should be punished. How do I explain that the law is seeming arbitrary, that more concern is given to a dog than a man. A young Black Man that is?
I desire the luxury to not have this as my concern. That when something happens there is one set of rules that is followed by all and that there will not be loopholes and circumstances for how to handle the situation: one for the Trayvon’s and one for the Travis’s. I hope that justice served and that peace comes to Trayvon’s family.
I want to be able to tell my kid that she will be safe.
There are times that I wish I were able to express myself better and am thankful for blogging friends that have been able to voice the words that I cannot. Below are links to a few of the bloggers who have spoken out about this case. Please visit them and share your thoughts.
|I’m a menace…to your mind|
Links to other posts inspired by Trayvon Martin:
The Power Mommy writes an open letter to George Zimmerman.
The Germantown Avenue Parent Blog writes about her son’s loss of innocence.
The Field Negro has kept a vigil on the case. The posts are here.
I am Trayvon’s mother from I Yam Pam
The Black Snob writes about apologizing and still not being good enough
Mama Knows It All wonders what is Trayvon were Travis?