Today’s blog is a hard one to write, because I don’t have the words for what is in my heart. Very rare am I without words. Words are my livelihood.
Today, though, I have spent my newscast reporting about the riots happening in response to George Floyd. I have read the FB posts from my friends on both sides of the riots. Just two hours ago I had lunch with my dear police officer friend. And I ache for us all.
But then a black college friend of mine posted this question, “how does a black man talk to his son about the evils that are going on around us?” I replied back, “how does a white mama talk to her son about the evils that are going on around us?”
And how do I? How do I talk to my children to explain about the evils of which they have not encountered? How do I? How do I teach my children better? How do I peel off the layers of generational hurt and anger? How do I help them understand the issues that I myself do not understand?
So, here I am, clumsily stumbling through words that I do not have to tackle a subject that I am not qualified to tackle, but I try because my heart is full of all the things I wish I could understand.
My blog was created with the focus on being a working mama. I have to balance both worlds. Today it’s even harder as I have the distinct job of reporting the news from an unbiased, unemotional standpoint and yet also try to find a way to take home the important truths that touch all of our hearts.
No matter what job I have, I am a mama first. At our last house, my across-the-street neighbor became a dear friend. She is a black woman. Her black children became dear to us, as well, and my own kid would daily run across the street to play. We were just two mamas watching our kids run and play. But that mama worried about her young, beautiful, innocent black kid in a way that I did not. She had to worry about things as simple as her son walking down the sidewalk. I never thought twice about it. It isn’t fair that two mamas, from the same neighborhood, with beautiful kids have to worry about completely different things. The only difference between her and I was her kids’ skin color. I ache with her.
I ache for George Floyd’s mother. What mother wants her child’s heartbreaking and tragic death portrayed for all the world to see? I don’t want to watch my child die ever and I sure don’t want the entire world to see it. But maybe it will serve a purpose that will open conversations. I know the conversations have been opened in my own home even more than before.
I want to say to that mama, and allll the other mamas, I see you, I hear you and I will do WHATEVER I can to make sure that BOTH our children can walk down the sidewalk without fear. Oh, please don’t tell me that “nobody is attacked walking down a sidewalk” and that “each of those people must’ve done something wrong” and that “white people are attacked sometimes, too.” I get it. I hear all of that. But because I am not a black woman with black children, I cannot deny something might exist that I don’t understand. If I don’t admit that black people DO have it harder, I am part of the problem. Nobody should die that way, not a criminal, not a good person. I can’t say if race was a motive. I do not know anyone’s heart in that situation, but based on my FB newsfeed today, I can say that there are a lot of hearts that DO need to change.
My parent’s generation saw skin color and it divided them. So then we created a generation that tried not to see skin color at all. We wanted to proclaim that, “we are all the same.” But now I seek to raise a new generation that SEES skin color, but also sees the beauty in it and finds it something to be cherished. We are NOT all created the same. We are created beautifully and in God’s image. That diversity makes not only us beautiful, but the God who created us. It reflects HIS diversity, His creativity, His depth of artistry and passion. When I celebrate the beauty in others, I am simultaneously celebrating the beauty of God that is reflected there.
To those who feel unheard, I wish to say, as so many others are saying, I hear you. To those who feel unseen, I say, I see you.
I do not know how to change or fix an issue that has been around long before I have been, but I strive to do better and be better. I strive to teach my children better. I may be awkward about it. I may sometimes say the wrong thing. I can promise, though, to do my best.
Let’s teach our children better. We have to do better.
Mama, I stand beside you so that both our kids can live in the world God meant for it to be. I hear your heart. I see your kids besides mine. I stand beside you peacefully praying for their better future.