Friday, June 10, 2016

Dear Sons, I want you to use your white privilege.

To my two white, middle-class sons: 

You may not have any clue what is going on right now in the world. Well, I can guarantee it. Mainly because one of you is only 4.5 years and the other one is waiting eight more weeks to come into the world. However, what you both may feel is Mumma's stress and worry. I want to apologize for that, but I can't. Actually, I won't. I am upset and sad and angry and worried about many different things going on right now. 

I'm upset that we are beginning to live in a country where crimes and complete bigotry are not only overlooked but acceptedly  practiced by those fighting to gain power. I'm upset that no matter how loud the public yells for help and acceptance, it struggles to be heard over the hatred and ignorance. I am sad that certain people feel the need to turn to violence and rioting in order to get seen and acknowledged. I am angry that young children all over are being left so far behind in education and essentially blamed for not being able to afford anything better. And that older children have no choice but to begin their lives so far in debt to pay for a further education. I am angry that women's health and rights are used only to the media's advantage when it creates headlines and controversy, rather than actual justice and safety. I am worried that I won't be able to teach you two enough about acceptance, compassion, and humanitarianism because of all the doubt, greed, and humiliation that fills our screens. 

The normal instinct of a parent is to shield a child from all of this. But I cannot do that.  I will not do that. I won't because you need to learn that these things are not acceptable. That injustice, bigotry, and hatred do not have to win. These things can be changed. I will raise you to become the change. Things like sexism, inequality, racism, etc. may not personally affect you. You are privileged to be white, middle-class males. But that is where your privilege comes in. Because these things may not affect you daily, you need to use your power to help those that it does. You will be surprised what has personally affected your mumma, your aunts, your family, your friends, and your community.  

I will not raise you to be "blind" to color, sexual orientation, or to anything else going on in the world. Being "blind" means more than not seeing; in most cases, it means ignoring. It means you also won't see the injustices or the beauty. I want you to fully see it all; to see, celebrate and feel deeply for it all. 

You too will get angry and upset at the unfairness of the world at points. And this is ok. In fact, it is great. Get angry and upset! Stand up for those whose voices are going hoarse from their screaming. Yell loudly to help them be heard. Believe in something and do not let those holding the power to silence you. You are a power. Use that to make it safe for your friends and family to walk down the street without being shamed. Use that to make sure the earth grows greener because you are living in it. Use your power to stand up for even those who have different views and life styles than you. Use it to make this world a more productive, educational, and equal place for all. 

I love you both so much. Now please go and spread that love. 


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