By sheer luck of circumstance, you were born a white male, in a prosperous country, to a loving family, in a comfortable home. Fate had you land in a well feathered nest. You are a lucky boy.
Don't ever forget it.
No one will judge you based solely on the color of your skin.
No one will feel they have the right to harrass you because of how much skin you're showing.
No one will look at you and see a threat, or cross the street or lock their doors, or as an opportunity to assert themselves against you.
You, my son, are safe to wear hoodies.
Your father will never have to sit you down and explain an unwritten Code of Behavior. He will never have to tell you to act with deference, to be aware that there are people who are scared of you, to not take it personally when you are singled out, stereotyped and treated as if you are less than.
But what he will sit you down to explain, and what we will try to teach you every day, is that while prejudice and injustice exist in even the best places, we each have a moral responsibility to open our hearts to everyone. That a position of priviledge should be used as a lever to pull others up with us, not push them down. That words ring hollow when they're not supported by our actions.
It is too difficult to even imagine what the parents of Trayvon Martin are feeling. It is incomprehensible, the number of conversations being held by the parents of brown skinned boys across kitchen tables. I can't explain to you why, because I don't know. I don't know why hate is perpetuated from generation to generation, why ignorance survives.
I pray every day that you and your sisters live with open hearts and open minds. There are experiences you will never understand, because you do not live that reality. Learn to love, and learn to listen. There is so much we don't know.
2 weeks ago