Like most everything in life, I became a mom within the same time frame that almost everyone else I know did. Between comparing parenting methods to exchanging advice, the inevitable invite for a play date came up quickly. Personally, if I am friends with you then a play date is great. I mean, why wouldn’t I want to drink wine with you while the kids play somewhere in the background. However, when it comes to play dates or getting our kids together, I have just one simple stipulation. If my son is your children’s only black peer, I will have to kindly decline that invitation.
That may sound harsh but I honestly don’t care. My experience as a mom is not the same as my white counterparts. I am raising a black boy that will have to roam through this world protecting himself at all times, working twice as hard just to get half as much and even after all of that, he still may be shot dead during a routine traffic stop. While you are teaching your little boys that the cops are here to protect them and to call them whenever they are in trouble or need help, I am trying to explain to my son a conflicting narrative of police brutality and law enforcement as protection. When you are sitting your little men down to have the traditional birds and bees talk, I am carrying on a different tradition of the no walking around in white neighborhoods after dark even if you live there talk.
While you are teaching your little boys that the cops are here to protect them and to call them whenever they are in trouble or need help, I am trying to explain to my son a conflicting narrative of police brutality and law enforcement as protection.
But, children are innocent right? They don’t see race or color, right? Wrong. If you have not made active steps to create diversity in your own life separate from your children and allow for Uncle Johnny to talk about the colored neighbors down the street in front of your kids, I don’t want that around my child. For a white mother with white children, maybe the race of their children’s playmates is not important. They are just kids. However, I am not interested in signing my child up to be your child’s crash course in blackness. If you haven’t made the effort to make sure your child is exposed to other children of all races, including black, on a regular basis so that they are able to form a first hand idea of what black people are like outside of media stereotypes and those little racists joke you and your spouse let slip over dinner, then you can keep your lack of giving a fuck about diversity away from me.