I’m one of those people who sense things. Call it what you want; intuition, psyche, or inner guidance but earlier this week, I told my son that something felt off. I said something was about to happen. I felt the shift before it occurred. Jaren asked me, “Is it something good or something bad?” I told him it wasn’t something good. Something just felt very wrong even though I had no prior information.
We got rid of our cable a couple years ago and opted for Hulu Plus instead. The one plus side of Hulu is we don’t get bombarded with commercials. Another aspect of Hulu is we don’t have local news. Sometimes this is bad and sometimes it seems like a really good thing, especially right now when tension is high in the U.S. And no matter how you view the Michael Brown story or what side or angle you take, it seems to me when all is said and done, it all comes down to race and the color of a man’s skin and less about an unarmed teenage boy getting shot, or a mother and a father mourning the loss of their son. All of the sudden there are no exceptions, no “some”, no “few”. Everyone gets lumped into one category, the white man, the black man, or however people get clustered together for a social or political statement or protest. And I hate it!
I am not just a white woman. I am so much more.
Today, after I dropped Jaren off at the local mall with his female friend so they could go shopping for school clothes, it dawned on me that I forgot to tell Jaren to be careful as a mother normally does to a sixteen year old going to a public place without his parent. Then suddenly I remembered my statement I made to him earlier in the week. I had forgotten all about it until that moment. I called Jaren. I felt this urge to tell him to be extra careful. Not just as a sixteen year old but as a young man who resembles a black young man more than a white young man. I told my son to be extra careful today because with everything going on, tempers are high and people are on edge. I wanted him to be cognizant of his surroundings.
Never have I ever felt the need to impart this type of cautious concern on my son. But as his mother, I need to recognize the truth about our society and that some people who do not know my son will judge him before they get to know him.
It is about race, but only because that’s the most prominent identifier in this country. Your son appears young and intelligent so I am sure he will navigate his personal obstacles with the love and direction you have instilled in him. As he gets older, I believe it will be less about race and more about socioeconomic status as the gap between rich and poor widens, and the minority segments of the country continue to blur the color lines.
The bigger issue with being biracial is feeling “not-quite-there” when it comes to being on either side of the fence. I hope your son doesn’t dwell in this arena too long because it can be a rather annoying feeling! But judging from your wisdom, he has the right family backing to emerge without unnecessary drama!
Thanks for commenting. And thanks for the vote of confidence. As parents, no matter what issues we face, it’s all a learning process. We try to do right by our kids and protect our kids. My son worries less about these issues than I do, which makes me happy.
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