I happen to be white and have raised a fine Marine son who happens to be black. He was adopted as a baby and is dearly loved. Being his mother has opened my eyes to living in the world as a minority. Yes, I do not know or understand completely what it means to be black. I have experienced the stares when we walk into a restaurant, the nervousness of staff when he went to the candy isle or to look at CDs. I quickly discovered that store clerks relaxed when they realized he was with me.
I struggled with how much warning I should give to my son. It gave me immeasurable pain to inform him that the world is ignorant and unjustly views him as a threat and thief. When shopping, unfair as it was, he should not put his hands in his pockets, do nothing that would make the staff suspicious, keep his hands visible at all times. I absolutely hated having to tell him how the real world is. However, I believe it has saved him some grief thus far.
In the mid 90s, we moved from a mostly white, small town, to multi-racial city life. He was about to start junior high. I specifically chose a neighborhood and schools where we would “blend in.” I had hoped this would be the end of name calling related to his race. However, when it was discovered by some of his new black friends that he had a white mother, he was referred to as “only painted black.” I was stunned.
The remarks made by the infamous Don Imus were totally nasty and inappropriate. Hopefully, he has learned something from all this and will consider an attitude overhaul.
Rev. Sharpton and Rev. Jackson rightfully denounced Imus’ comments and called for justice. I think much of America can agree that the remarks were wildly inappropriate. I am guessing that much of America also agrees that the same language and attitudes expressed in rap and hip hop music is also nauseating. Will Sharpton and Jackson call for justice in the rap world? Why should rappers, entertainers, comedians, make millions of dollars expressing the same revolting attitude toward women? I cannot imagine the kind of damage this is doing to younger generations.
To Mr. Sharpton and Mr. Jackson: please know that this mother agrees with your outrage regarding the words of Don Imus. However, your words are quickly becoming very, very hollow if you do not take it a step further and denounce the same attitudes in hip hop music. You cannot have it both ways. America recognizes the double standard. The leadership must come from honorable black men. Will you take us a step further and lead the way? dr pers © 2007