"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Mother's Fear

Rory (10 years old) &
Never (6 years old)

"Color hate defined the place of Black life
as below that of white life..."
Richard Wright, Black Boy (1945)

How do I prepare my sons, teach them to avoid and/or navigate, emerge unschated from the peril of...walking while Black?

I HATE this race-conscious shit. That's the primary reason I have not commented about Trayvon Martin's murder: the obvious injustice of the refusal to arrest (33 days and counting), the 911 calls [and many people's decisions (lay and professional) to not believe their 'lying ears'], the patently bullshit, and ever changing, self-serving, C.Y.A. explanations (from both the murderer, the Sanford Police Dept., and their defenders), the steadily increasing smearing of a murdered Black boy's life (by some members of the 4th Estate, who seem to have no shame, ruthlessly negatively using their the 'power of the pen'). It's all so obvious, despicable and just plain...sad. I wanted no part of any of it.

But with the release of the 'Zimmerman-Sanford-Police-station's-vid-feed' - I can no longer hold my tongue - what more does it have to take for this man to be arrested and charged? Why does the murder of a Black boy have to clear such ridiculous hurdles before an official inquiry is sought, an arrest made? It boggles the mind!

My Fantastic 4!

I have three sons (one is an angel ;-) and a daugther. Yes, they are bi-racial and are nearly as 'light' in skin color as their German/Irish father, but as the Obama/Birther movement has made clear - all that will ever matter, in the eyes of many, is their 'black blood.' While I always suspected this truth, it was confirmed to me the first time my eldest child was called a Nigger to his face - at the time, Rory was 9 years old (8 July 2011, yes, I'll never forget that day/date).

But the reason I've decided to comment now, what haunts (and has been haunting) me the most, are the cries of Trayvon's mother (Sybrina Fulton). Her cries for simple justice literally make my heart ache. My heart aches not only for her loss (of her beloved son), but also in the fact that her son was murdered for...walking down a street while being Black. She knows (as we all do) that her son was targeted as being 'suspicious' b/c of the very fact of his skin color - a fear that every mother has for her Black son(s). The fear I have, the fear that grows as my sons do, the fear that will never leave me.

In this photo are my beloved, gorgeous, smart, kind and sweet sons. But as I look at this photo, and write this post, I am reminded that either Rory and/or Never could be Trayvon Martin. May yet become Trayvon Martin. There but for the grace of God, go I.

"Whatever effects one directly, affects one indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." - Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

No justice, no peace...

Vivire! Rire! Aimer!



  1. I remember you stating this fear when Rory was just a tiny baby. Your passion, fear and anger come across loud and clear in your commentary about Trayvon. I want to tell you it will be alright. No harm will come to your beautiful family. But in this world of duality anything could happen. I can't be Pollyanna about this. But I can tell you you are an incredible Mother and your love and protection are so strong that I am sure your children travel in a protective bubble as the result of the intensity. Love you.

  2. Hey Dee,

    When I read your comment, early this morning, I was still in fierce mamma protective mode. I wrote this post to vent the overwhelming helplessness and fear that this tragic incident spurs in me. While there is certainly a lot more information/details that will emerge, the 1st moment in this tale (undisputed, agreed upon by all involved in this tragic case) is: a man, driving in his car, saw a Black youth walking down the sidewalk and determined that his 'walking' was suspicious - because he was Black.

    How do I, the mother of Black sons, deal with this reality? How do I equip my sons to deal with the fact that there are people in this world who will find them threatening ('obviously' up to no good) because they're...walking down the street?

    What do I tell them? How can I teach them to avoid such a volitile situation - tell them not to...walk home from the grocery store? My boys are 10 and 6 now. How do I allow them to leave the house knowing that, at any moment, anywhere, anytime, someone (anyone) may feel justified in following, stopping and questioning my sons - may see my sons as a threat they have the right to SHOOT, have the RIGHT to kill b/c my sons are...walking while Black?

    Words cannot fully express my terror and fear. How do I protect my babies from something so amorpheous? Especially when I know that the very people who are supposed to protect my sons (the police, D.A.s, etc.) will also believe that my sons' are suspicious (and thus fair game to stop, detain, shoot, and kill) and why? Because the were... walking while being Black.

    Your words not only touched my heart and soul, they had the effect that your sweet peaceful counsel always does - you soothed my troubled mother's heart and gave me the precious priceless gift of a best friend's love and support. What a treasure you are! I felt your amazing je nais se quoi, was calmed, and realized what I need to do - continue as I always have - raise my boys to be good, kind and caring men. Teach them, protect them, and pray that when they're walking while Black the person passing by in their car will be someone like you...

    I love you Dee and I miss you so much! I wish you were here, I need a ballet class - sharing the same barre - with you right now. Champgane and girl-talk soon? On your strip of beach and/or on my driveway? Soon, I hope-can't wait ;-)

    Thank you dearheart...


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