Once upon a time I truly believed that if I taught my children to be respectful and use their manners it would all be fine. And although it hurts to write this out…that they would be protected because they are a part of our family….with white parents. I cringe because I don’t want to admit this, but my own privilege protects my kids for now. It’s yucky, isn’t it? But I know it’s true.
One day in the not distant future my precious boys will be men. They will grow and be out on their own…and people will make assumptions about them based upon their appearance. I want to go back to being a color blind child. To believing that what you looked like didn’t matter. That was naive, I know. But it was easier.
It’s complicated to teach the balance of dignity, worth, and value, with the reality that they will surely face injustice. To prepare them for reality, but to protect their hearts. To celebrate who they are, and why they are amazing just the way their Creator made them while society sometimes tells them otherwise. I don’t know how to do this, but I will continue to seek the One who does for wisdom in raising them, asking for their protection, and His grace for their understanding of their identity in Him.
Friends, things have to change. They have to change one conversation and understanding at a time. ALL are going to have to stand up and speak against injustice and discrimination. And we need to LISTEN. Whether you think there is a problem or not is irrelevant…LISTEN to one another. Our voices together have to bridge the gap in the racial divide. I believe that we can do better…and communication, understanding, and a whole lot of Jesus is the only way.
This post originally appeared at KathyGarrison.net, published with permission.