Thursday, December 4, 2014

White Privilege

I just took the boys to the library. Josh wanted to borrow Apollo 13. We've got a movie night planned tonight. Completely unexpectedly Bug fell asleep on the way. I parked at the entrance and asked Josh if he'd run in to pick up the movie, already at the hold desk, and handed him my library card. Off he ran.
In my rearview mirror, I saw a car park behind me. A black mother proceeded to get her four children out of the car, all boys. My mind flooded with the posts I've been reading about Ferguson, about the heartache of raising a black man in this society. I wanted to turn around and call out to her, tell her I know how hard motherhood is, but I can never know the fear she must feel for her children. I wanted to apologize and tell her how beautiful her family is, but I didn't. I didn't know how something like that would be received.
Then Josh came out of the library and it hit me like a slap in the face- THIS is white privilege. I didn't even think twice about sending him into the library alone. Would the mother behind me ever consider that for her sons? Will her sons ever know that freedom without fear? It brings me to tears.
What can I do? It is not enough to only educate my sons. What else can all of us parents do to protect all of our children?