Life as a white mom of a Black child

My view from here..atop my soap box!!

Nope he is not adopted, but his skin colour to the rest of the world is that of a black man. He doesn’t look mixed, especially to white people. I think that universally the comment we get the most is “YOU are his mom?” Yes I am and proud to be. To be his mom is the greatest joy ever, my heart broke open to a love I never knew existed until he was born.  On the journey to being his mother, I will tell you that I was called “Nigger Lover” to my face more often than I care to ever put a voice to.

I have lived my adult life as a witness to a child that was not offered the same life as me. I have witnessed my son be treated better once the “white mom” enters the scene. I have held him through tears of jokes kids brought to school, by kids who thought they were being funny. I have had conversations with too many principals on why their teachers and the students have no right to speak to him and treat him the way they do. I had to clarify that the word “Nigger” used for “fun” is not appropriate, anywhere, but especially a school environment.  I have witnessed him being pulled over for doing nothing, as I drove in front of him on the same road.

If you think this doesn’t shape how he sees the world, you are wrong. If you think he hasn’t constantly felt he had to prove the value of his existence to society, you are wrong. He is very aware that I live and am afforded a different life than he.  And now during a racial uprising, he gets bombarded with people saying I didn’t know racism still exists, well that statement alone slaps the face of any person who is not white who has had to endure systemic racism for years. Instead of assuming through your eyes that it does not exist, why not ask someone of another race with a skin colour different from white if racism still exists. I will guarantee you your perspective will change.

Sadly, over the years. I have witnessed, first hand, many times when black mothers have tried to speak out for their children, it is generally a harder fight. But for me, the white momma, things get done. The irony is, my son’s DNA is 50% white, but he will NEVER be afforded white privilege. You might want to read that sentence again!!

The hardest part of me watching the news, when racially motivated events happen, is the surprise of my white counterparts. All of these well-meaning white people are surprised that somehow racism still exists, and I am here to tell you, you may be a large part of the problem that it still does, as am I.

You see the white people who are racist know it exists, and they have convinced themselves that you are too.  Here’s why. The racists are the ones who tell the Paki and Nigger jokes, but you are the one who laughs nervously, and think it isn’t a big deal, just a joke right!! Well, guess what, your kid who heard that joke, told that joke to my nigger kid the next day!! They don’t see a problem with it because you didn’t say to the guy at the backyard bar b que, that is inappropriate, please don’t tell those jokes.

When we as white people don’t stop the small indiscretions of our friends and family members, then we give fuel to the racists. That is what they want and that is their hope. For anyone who does not see White Nationalist/ Supremacist groups as the EXACT same thing as Islamic Extremists, then you have your head under a rock and you need to lift off the rock!! White Nationalists are “recruiting” and rallying at an alarming rate once again.

Why?

Because all of us well-meaning white people thought that racism didn’t exist anymore. So we fell asleep, well meaning, loving people…but we fell asleep!! I implore you to wake up, take off the blinders and take action against the small indiscretions that happen in your life every day.

Because guess what? White people are the only people who can stop White Nationalism, White Supremacy, KKK….we are it!!! It is up to us, yes I am talking to you!!

I have always believed that understanding view points is important, but we are at a time of action. I don’t really know what that action is for you, but you will.

Hatred is NOT ok!! If you see it speak against it!!

If marching in a rally isn’t your thing, then maybe stopping the jokes at work or maybe unfriending your bigoted friends, making sure they know why you made the choice.

Hell, ask someone who is not white about their journey, that alone may change how you view the world.

What I know for sure is that we were not born to hate….. it is taught!!

We also need to be taught to speak against it, I know it is hard. We could risk friendships, or family relationships. But it is my belief that If we come at the discussion from a place of love we will have much more success than if we attempt to fight hate with hate!!

I hope that you can find it in your soul to step out of your comfort zone, we are all needed!!

In love light and laughter

Karen

 

13 thoughts on “Life as a white mom of a Black child

  1. Loved reading this! I, too, am a white mother of a black child and no, he is not adopted, he is my own flesh and blood!

    I am sorry to hear about the racism both of you have had to endure. Being from a small town without many other races here, my biggest fear was racist comments. We have been fortunate that this only happened a couple of times for him and the situations were dealt with by the authorities (school principal and hockey referee). I have to admit that there was and is still a small number of people around us who use the “N” word inappropriately (it’s just a joke, right?). I have had to step up and tell them it is inappropriate, no, it is not a joke and please do not use that word or say those jokes around me or around anyone else for that matter.

    He wondered when he was young why he was the only black person in the family (his father was not a part of our lives). I do not see him as “black”, I see him as a human being, he is my son.

    He has grown up to be a successful young man (he is now 26). When people tell me “your son is a true gentleman” or “you have done a great job raising your son”, it melts my heart and makes me so very proud to be “a white mom of a black man”.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. We walk this world as human beings and my hope is that I will truly see that concept honoured in the world at large in my lifetime.

  2. Karen: That is a well-written letter from someone who has walked the road and watched her son being tormented. It comes from the heart because you also were hurt. Good for you for speaking out. It needs to be said and you have lived it so you said it. Blessings to you and your son.
    Lorna

  3. So well written, I will share it with family and friends. Thank you for being so up front and making us aware of the issues, today. We must, in our small circles, be accepting of all races, creeds, colours and faith. Our world needs to get better.❤️

  4. Wow, what powerful, thought provoking words. Well done, well written. I will never know the struggles, the pain or the joy that you have experienced with your son but I can empathize just by reading this passage.

    You are the love, the light and laughter in J’s world as well as in ours.

    Thank you

  5. I have 2 beautiful bi-racial daughters and now a handsome bi-racial grandson. Conceived in love.
    My daughters make-up genetically is more white as their “black” father was also bi-racial.
    My light skinned girls identify as black because “they are not white enough”.
    What does that mean?
    I am sad that we try so hard to tag or pigeon hole. Even using the word bi-racial nauseates me. Why can’t my children just be of the “human race”?
    My beautuful children and grand child are not defined by their colour.
    They will be defined by their goodness, their spirit, their knowledge, their love of God, their love of mankind.
    I can only hope in my life time I see our world heal where love and kindness prevails.
    Dream? Perhaps. But can you just imagine? ❤
    Love to you and yours Karen

    1. Thank you for your response, I too hate the labels. Anyone who knows my son knows that he is a kind and gentle spirit, with a great mix of fire in his soul. Those who define humans by skin pigment or any other surface definition sadly live a life not fully lived. My hope, with all of the recent upheaval, is that people are realising that we as individuals have the power to change lives. Love you and yours as well.

  6. Thanks Karen for your story. I’m a mom of a mixed race daughter. It’s a good thing we live in California where there are a lot of kids like her, not wholly black or wholly brown but definitely not white. I worry about how they will navigate and find their place in this world. We can only do our best as parents by giving them the tools to deal with the unfairness that will undoubtedly arise and the strength to keep going. <3

    1. I completely agree. He is 28 now, and I think he has turned out pretty awesome 🙂 He had to decide that the view of some would not define him.

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