I always wanted a son. As long as I can remember, when dreaming of being a mother, I always pictured myself with one child…a boy. In that dream, I never thought about what it would be like raising an African American boy in this society.
In lieu of the racist statements recently made by LA Clippers coach, Donald Sterling and the murder of Travon Martin, it is a shame that I have to have a conversation with my 10 year old son, about racism, how to act around police officers and other people who wish him harm.
I encourage my son to watch the news in the morning, instead of cartoons, as he gets ready for school, so that he knows what is going on in the world. Our drives to school are generally spent discussing what he saw that morning on the news and me answering questions about it.
Facing the reality
When my son asked why he wasn’t allowed to go to a Clippers game, it took me by surprised. I was listening to the news as I got ready for work and I didn’t recall them saying that…at least not in those words. When my son went on to explain that one of the kids said it at school, I was shocked. I was shocked that children were discussing current events with one another on the playground instead of playing. I was also angry that a child would say that to my son.
I masked my anger, as best I could and asked him if he had heard about the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers making statements about Black people on the news. He said he had heard a little about it and I explained that the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers had basically stated that he didn’t like black people, even though he owned a team which was made up of several African American men. [Read more…]