My wife and I are so excited to be looking at baby things, planning and dreaming together about our children. We read books on parenting styles, talk about how we want them to have the best of everything, love, support and no pressure to be anything for us except decent human beings.
Then I saw the headlines about Trayvon Martin.
When I watched the news clip on CBC newsworld about this baby faced boy screaming for his life, my stomach turned. It made me cry and fear for their future.
I’m white and my wife is mixed-race and our kids are going to reflect our backgrounds.
What happened to Trayvon Martin scares me to death.
I don’t live in the U.S, let alone Florida but that doesn’t lessen my worry about racism. He was an innocent child afraid and in the dark and minding his own damn business. I hope that George Zimmerman is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. You don’t wander around with a concealed weapon with your brain half-cocked like that, because terrible things happen.
The white privilege I have will not be extended to my children and they will be judged for it. I’d be stupid to think I can protect them from it.
I’ve seen and heard enough from my non-white family members to do me a lifetime and they deal with it whenever they leave the house.
What do I say to my kids? Some people will think you’re less than me because you’re mixed race and I’m white, even if my kids have double my IQ, triple my talent and quadruple the beauty?
I speak out on this because yes, I’ve had moments of brainwashing fear around someone who was non-white because as a child, outside influences told me I had something to fear. As an adult, I know better.
I cannot relate to what it must be like for African people, East Indian people and Middle Eastern people to get by when they are judged for no reason. That doesn’t mean it’s any less of an outrage to me.
So when my kids start asking me questions about race at least they will have more than one perspective from their parents.
I hope to instill the same values in them, that a threat to rights anywhere is a threat to rights everywhere.
I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.