Standing in Judgement

Last week I was reading this post over at Clutch Magazine about Charlize Theron dressing her son up in a blonde wig and hat. I clicked on the picture and looked closely and realized that he was in fact dressed up as Elsa from the movie, Frozen. Not just a random blonde wig. He had on the dress and shoes and black folks were all up in arms.

Why? Charlize Theron is the mother to a five year old son. Yes, he’s black. Yes she adopted him, but she’s still his mother. Now that we have that settled let’s get something straight…parents can do whatever the hell they wish when raising their children. As long as it doesn’t hurt them in any form or fashion.

I’ve written about this before. It is a parent’s right to raise our children however we choose. Ultimately we all want the same thing… to raise happy and healthy children that become productive citizens and not mass murders. That being said, Charlize is no different. The problem with the comments in this post were noticeable. People were making it into a race issue. It wasn’t. It was a parenting choice.

They were attacking how she chose to parent her son and trying to paint it is a racial issue saying she is prohibiting him from knowing how much of a strong black boy he is by allowing him to dress as Elsa. What? I in no way thought that he was going to be damaged by dressing as Elsa. I felt it was her parenting choice. However, I felt the commentators were disguising their disgust and trying to mask it in race when it is in fact a homophobic issue for them.

They were mad that she allowed her son to dress up as a girl. If it was from Disney’s Princess and the Frog and it was Princess Tiana (a black princess) would that have made it better? Nope. It wouldn’t. But, it wasn’t a race issue and I felt compelled to say that it was a parenting choice. Why? Because I’m a glutton for punishment? Nope, because I know what it’s like to parent.

 

The conversation took an ugly turn when I tried to defend her. Why? I’m defending her right to parent and to parent a black boy in the best way possible. Who are we to judge? That made me the apparent target of being judged.

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Now, I stopped responding to the foolishness of others, but the woman Sys Author had some pretty respectful comments so I continued to engage. I don’t engage with idiots, but she was polite and respectful and we could agree to disagree.

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While I appreciated the interaction of intellectual conversation, I just find that the whole thing has grown out of proportion. Rich people have a different set of issues that an average middle class or poor person may not understand. Each level of the tax bracket could probably say the same… You don’t know what it’s like to walk in my shoes. Do we?

I don’t think so. I am thankful for my varied experiences. I grew up poor. I would be described as middle class (working poor in my opinion) but I may never obtain millionaire status without hitting the lottery. I’m okay with it, but unless things take a turn for the worse, my son will never know what it’s like to be poor.

Thankfully.

But, I say all this to say that parenting in general is hard. Parenting black boys is hard. Parenting black girls brings another set of issues too. Parenting black children in today’s society where you have to wonder whether or not sending your children to school will allow them to come home safely or whether walking them down the street will get you killed by a stray bullet is a hard reality for many black Americans. But, we can’t allow bitterness to make us judgmental and make everything about race.

In this case it was a parent’s decision to allow her child to dress up like Elsa. You don’t agree? Fine. It’s not up to you to agree with it or not. However, it doesn’t make her a bad parent or someone who lacks racial sensitivity.

We can’t judge a parenting choice and disguise it as a racial issue. There are enough racial inequalities that are real. Those are the battles that are worth fighting. I respect her decision to allow her son to do what he wants. To wear what he wants. To allow him to freely express himself.

We just have to stop judging each other. We have to stand united and understand that we all make mistakes, but respect our differences. We all want the same thing for our children and we all want a better country. I  believe that someday we’ll get there.

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Eunique Jones Gibson

My Black History person of the day is Eunique Jones Gibson who is making Herstory known all over the world. I discovered her a few years ago on Facebook from her Because of Them We Can campaign which takes African American trailblazers reenacted with children. I love her work. She is a talented photographer, mother and she’s telling our story all over the world. She’s an artist and an activist who shares black history 24/7, not just during the month of February.

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Check out some of these photos she’s done for Black History Month. These are her photos and I have no rights to them. Please purchase her work from her website here:  Because of Them We Can

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She’s phenomenal right? Check out her Facebook page as well here:  Because of Them We Can Facebook Page. I promise you will love her as much as I do.

 

 

Disclaimer: I own no rights to these photos. A Google search was performed for the picture of Eunique and the Because of Them We Can photographs are the work of her. 

 

Assault at Spring Valley High

Please Note: This post has a video clip. If you are receiving this post via email, please click on the title and read it from my site directly to see the videos.

 

By now many of you have seen the video of the school resources officer, Deputy Ben Fields, in Richland County, South Carolina and the violent way in which he called himself removing a student. A FEMALE student. Can you believe it? Do you understand why I scream #BLACKLIVESMATTER?

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This is ridiculous! I’m outraged that a man is using excessive force on a CHILD. We are trying to teach our children that bullying is wrong and this dang officer is the bully. He’s using a badge to use brute force on our children.

Haven’t seen the video? Check it out here:

Do you see why our black children are afraid of law enforcement? Do you see why our black children are taught that if you encounter a white cop that you just be compliant and not resist? The child didn’t resist. She just shut down. This law official just threw her like she was a rag doll. As a human being you can’t tell me that he was justified in any way. He is a MONSTER!

Apparently, she was being disruptive. Disruptive! She was disruptive because she had her phone out. Are you serious? Disruptive means that you get to be dragged out with brute force and thrown around the room like a rag doll because you had pulled your cell phone out? No, it doesn’t.

This child was a victim of police brutality and this officer should lose his badge at the very least. I am too angry to think what I would have done if this man had manhandled my niece. I can’t find words to describe the pain I feel watching this video.

When you watch the video notice how the children don’t move or seem shocked that this is happening. What the heck is going on in this school? What about the teacher? Where the heck is the educator to not speak up or try to intervene on this child’s behalf? Aren’t you partly to blame? You like to watch children being manhandled with excessive force by a man who looks like he’s on steroids?

I send my son to school to get an education. To become a productive educated young man who will make a difference. To not be a victim of police brutality. I can’t help when he walks out the door and gets accosted walking because he’s black, but dang my tax payer dollars don’t support police brutality in the school.

I am praying for that young girl. I’m praying for the children in that class who didn’t seem shocked to see this kind of behavior and I’m praying that every human rights organization from the ACLU to the NAACP find out what kind of education and force are being used on our children at that school and fire every last person.

Is there any place our children are safe?

 

No More

No more please. No more killing of our black babies and offering up excuses. I’m tired. As a mother to a black boy, this is my deepest fear. A fear that he will not be here on this Earth all the days of my life because of senseless violence. I mean Michael Brown and Ferguson is still fresh in my mind and now we hear about Tamir Rice? How could this happen?

A boy. A baby. Not even a teenager. A child. He is six years older than my son. He is a black boy. He is someone’s son. He is not going to go on his first date. He will not go to his prom. He will not graduate high school. He will not go to college. He will not get married. He will not be a father. He is dead.

How does this happen? Why are our children being used as target practice. No more. I can’t take it. I have a son. I don’t let him play with guns. I don’t let him play video games. I don’t allow him to play alone any where. I organize play dates and I organize outings. Why? Because I’m afraid. I’m afraid that he will be used as target practice and there is nothing no one will be able to tell me.

I’m crying. Literally writing this piece with tears rolling down my face. I’m scared. Scared of looking into the eyes of my son and knowing that because he is a black boy that no matter what I do to prepare him to not be viewed as a threat, he may be killed senselessly by law enforcement. This is heartbreaking to me.

To make matters worse, how the heck can someone like former Mayor of NYC Rudy Giuliani even justify cops killing blacks by saying that “White police officers wouldn’t be in black neighborhoods, killing black men, if you weren’t killing each other.” Are you kidding me? Why would you even say that? To say that our tax dollars don’t buy us the right to have officers serve and protect without killing us or using the stop-and-frisk method because of the color of our skin is of true offense.

Understand this…I mourn all deaths due to senseless violence. But let’s get real, if my son was murdered by someone who is not a law enforcement official we would hopefully see some sort of justice. If it is law enforcement that murders him then the odds that something will happen are slim to none. He will still be dead and his murderer will be free.

My plea is simple:  Please stop killing our children. Please stop murdering my brothers, fathers, cousins and uncles. Please stop protecting those that kill the innocent. Please prosecute those who kill our children. I will go home and be able to kiss my munch, listen to him tell me about his day at school, listen to him tell me how he can’t wait to go to his grandma’s house for Thanksgiving and listen to him tell me that he loves me tonight. I will get to put him asleep, kissing his forehead and sending prayers of thanks to God for another day with him. Tamir’s parents do not have that luxury. They will have to plan a funeral.

Tamir Rice
Tamir Rice