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View Diary: Trayvon Martin: A teachable moment about institutional racism and subjectivity? (82 comments)

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  •  very, very true, HamdenRice, (12+ / 0-)

    I haven't read anything about "critical race theory", didn't even know something like this exists. (May be you suggest a book to me to read about it? I really would appreciate it. Thanks)

    All I can add in simple terms is that reasonableness, fear and racism don't mix into something that is beneficial to mankind, no way, no how, no where.

    I saw mallyroyal's diary and was tempted to put up some photos of my son, same way, I also was tempted to shout out in a diary all the things my son shouted out. But I could not do it. I am not him, I am not black.

    And I remember Shannikka's first comment on this event and the fact that I wanted to comment, but couldn't.

    I asked myself what is the difference between me, a white mom of a black man, and Shanikka, a black mom of a black man, and what is different for our sons, both being black but one with a white mom (and one -for heaven's sake -  from a country that is "famous" for its racism in the past) and one with a black African-American mom.

    I cant imagine that our anger and bitterness, our "Angst" for the well-being and lives of our sons, and both our lack of tears, which I realized in me the same as Shannikka described it for herself, is different. There is a level of emotions that is all there in both of us, I am sure they are the same.

    I love my son. I can't imagine there is another person who would feel more the need to "be in solidarity with him" than me. But in no moment is it possible to forget for both of us, that we are not the same.

    And that makes the pain and love between the two of us go deep, being tormented by the tension his realization  of the fact that "I can't really understand" what it is "to be black" and his love for me is causing.

    And I am only grateful for any moment where the love is stronger than the "not understanding" part.

    You want a little taste of how fear, reasonableness and racism, a little, negligible thingy that nevertheless makes me mad any moment I think about it?

    In my lovely workplace it is known that "I have a black child", which "must be a problem for me", because he "just didn't make it in live the usual way" and I must be a "bit strange" person and pretty "naive" to have "chosen such an African as a husband", because clearly, I could have known better that "this couldn't work". And we must have been "bad parents" why else would he "not making it" You know, it wasn't really a "reasonable" choice. Ok, nothing new about that. Just saying, I hear it all the time, mostly in code words, or in unspoken subtle ways, sometimes plain and open.

    One day one of our most lovely ladies in the office came to me and said, wringing her hands with eyes wide open and furrowing her brow: "mimi", she said, "I have to talk to you, I really, really wanted to warn you, so terrible things happen these days, please, please don't walk alone through our parking garage any more, park directly near the elevator, it's sooo dangerous. I am really scared."

    "Why, what has happened?" I asked. "Oh there have been so many rapes lately and I have several times now seen some black men hanging around in the parking garage with no apparent reason. I scares me so much, it's really dangerous. Don't go alone anymore through the parking garage to your car."

    "There was a rape in our parking garage?" "No, but you know, you hear so much about rapes these days everywhere". "Yes? Where?" "Oh, everywhere in general."

    I was kind of shell shocked and really stunned that this woman, who knows I have a black man as a son, who could very well be the one, who is walking to his car in the parking garage, had the nerves talking to me like that.

    To her it seemed very reasonable to warn me about "the raping black men" and her racism was awash and - though she would never admit or even see her own racism - in her mind justified by "very reasonable" fears.

    So, now I don't know, why I made this comment. It's so not worth it. It just doesn't get out of my mind and I wished it would. And it is one of more harmless examples I could talk about.

    I just imagine how bad it must be for my son working with people like that. I am very proud of him. He is a good person and in the end a strong one too.

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