By Anise Smith
I am very in tuned to what’s going on in the world. I know that there are animals that need to be saved, causes to promote, injustices to fight against and environments to be saved. As a human being, I have a vested interest in ALL of these things. I would love to aggressively pursue getting in touch with every cause that I have time for.
This brings me to this issue and that’s lack of time. I lack time because I am a little busy trying to keep my son alive. We now live in a world where you have to teach your black sons critical lessons so that they continue to live in a world that can sometimes be tough and even life threatening to them.
It is now 2013 and I have had to tell my son about all of the things that could possibly harm him in this era of change. I always taught my son about predators, pedophiles and suspicious people that prey upon children, but early last year everything changed. The lessons on survival got real!
I now have to not only teach him about regular heinous crimes against young people, but now I have to teach him about steps that he must now take to avoid being a victim of the new era of anger. This is an era of anger that has resulted in quite a few black teenage boys being killed by an anger that I have never seen before early 2012. An era that I thought had long since passed. However, that is not the case any longer, as the new era that most are not familiar with has reared its ugly head.
My son is a teenager. He’s very soft spoken and an honor student. He taught himself Korean and Japanese. He is a bit of a hipster and a serious techie like his mom, but he is still a teenager. So he shuffles about sometimes. He walks slow, he wears a hoodie, he has crazy hair. He doesn’t smile much because he is a teenager. A BLACK teenager.
So, on a daily basis, I have to tell my son before I drop him off to school, take off your hoodie, unzip your hoodie, don’t put your hands in your pockets, don’t look threatening, don’t look angry even if you are. Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t challenge men that may be angry. Don’t look at the cops ever and don’t look suspicious. This is the post Trayvon Martin conversation and one that I must have with my son often.
I must have this conversation because it’s always in my mind that MY son could be the victim of this kind of crime. Chances are higher that he would be, than my friends that do not have black sons. THIS is my reality.
I set my cell phone alarm to ring at 3:00 PM because this lets me know daily that he is on his way home. He will be walking home and no longer in the safety of the school building. All of which increase his chances of becoming a victim of this kind of crime. THIS is my reality.
I am writing all of this because I was challenged on a post about WHY I’m not concerned about this persons cause. Why I was not concerned more about the animals that are dying? I am writing this because I wanted to demonstrate that one person’s reality is not another persons. What I am dealing with is an unknown to those in my circles and those that are friends of my friends.
Additionally, it is a demonstration that one should NOT presume anything about anyone because you don’t know what that other person is dealing with. Finally, I write this because this is something that ALL black mothers are dealing with everyday but NOT talking about. I write this also because it needed to be said. THIS is my reality
In closing, I would be more than happy to fight for anyone’s cause, chain myself to your tree, protest global warming, save animals and more. But EXCUSE the HELL out of ME, I’m a little busy trying to keep my son alive. THIS is my reality.
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