Shortly after George Floyd was killed, I read an essay by Amy, who is the white mom of two young Ethiopian American children. Amy writes of the anxiety she feels because of the ways our society treats black males, and the conversations she must have with her 10-year-old son to help him learn to stay safe. “[My son] has so much talent to offer this world and I want him to live a long and happy life doing all his heart desires,” writes Amy.
Are you a mom? I bet you love your children just as Amy loves hers. If you are white, consider the following poem, which Amy’s story inspired me to write:
Dear white moms of the United States,
please imagine . . .
What if your life was filled with
worry, daily worry
your son leaves the house
You feel so helpless
because that son you love
might be killed
because of the color of his skin.
Racism is a virus—if you’re not actively vaccinating your children against it, it will infect their hearts and spread– harming all who come in contact with it.Autumn McDonald
Dear white moms,
can you imagine
having to scare your child
with “The Talk:”
you inform him
about the dangers he faces
“Keep your hands
flat on the dashboard.
If you drop something
don’t bend to pick it up,
Don’t act mad. . .look calm . . . .”
Imagine. I imagine that all you moms
want to change what is happening
to some of our children;
Maybe we start
by teaching our children
to become anti-racist,
and in that teaching
we just might also become more and more,
Imagine what a difference
*Amy suggests one place to begin: Read this