As mothers of color,
we cannot avert our eyes,
we cannot deny the truth
that every child that dies
by the hands of police
Is no different from our own
precious babies who we
painstakingly raise year by year
hoping that they have a future
longer and greater than our own.
Jenny Wang, PhD
As a mother, we have endless goals and dreams for our beautiful little humans. Amongst those is our goal to protect our children.
These beautiful little babies come into our lives and we want to be everything and do everything we can for them. We want to protect them from harm, from being afraid, from mean people, and from awful situations.
How do you protect your child from a system that was made to bring them down? This is a question that Black mothers and fathers have been asking themselves since the beginning of enslavement and the creation of the United States of America. This is a question that is being asked by any parent to a child of color.
I am not a Black mother. I am a white mother to a biracial daughter. I, too, have this question. How do I protect my baby from a system that will judge her based on her ethnicity? How can I, as a white mother, help protect her and other Black and brown children?
East Idaho Moms wants to bring the village back! This is a way that we can.
We, as East Idaho Moms, can help protect our community.
In a community, we take care of each other.
We can start by…
- Seeing the beautiful differences between each family. Yes! SEE their color. SEE their culture. It is different, it is beautiful, it is part of their identity.
- Believe their stories. If a BIPOC trusts you enough to share their stories, listen and believe them. Understand that you will not be able to relate to them, the pain and disappointment are too great. Among other emotions and feelings that I cannot even label, because I also do not understand.
- Use your white privilege. I know, feels scary, right? We have it. If you are white, then you hold white privilege. It is what it is, and this is true. If you see a person or family of color in a situation that makes you stop and think, “Is this going to be okay?” or “Are they being treated how I would be treated?”, then STOP. Do not keep walking. Be there to intervene, be there to make sure that they know someone is watching.
- Examples of this may be: encounters with police officers or others who hold positions of power, encounters with discrimination in stores (asking for extra identification, accusations of theft), encounters with bullying in schools, microaggressions, etc.
The wrongful murder of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old boy who was unarmed and killed by police in Chicago, has reiterated what many people already know: there is far less protection for BIPOC.
Something needs to change.
Scratch that, EVERYTHING needs to change for these human beings to be protected and have the rightful opportunities that they deserve.
I do not hold a position of power, and these are action items that I can do.
Here is my promise:
- I will continue my anti-racism journey by learning from others and believing the accounts of BIPOC.
- I will continue to teach anti-racism to those around me.
- I will stand up for others.
- I will use the white privilege I hold in positive ways to help the BIPOC community, without taking anything away from them or earning credit for myself.
- I will stay open to constructive criticism and learning when I make a mistake or have a misunderstanding.
- I will better myself for my family and community.
- I will protect your babies like my babies.