Sunday, July 14, 2013

After the verdict...


I'm not going to lie, I was angry last night. Angry and disappointed and sad and just plain worried about my country, my community and mainly my son. For those of you who are overseas and may not be abreast on the issue, I am taking about the "not guilty" verdict given to George Zimmerman. The Florida resident who shot and killed a 17 year old black and unarmed boy named Trayvon Martain, stating that it was self defense.  When I heard the verdict, I did what a lot of people do, I went straight to social media. I posted my sadness and disappointment on Facebook and my angry on Twitter. This was a mistake. I should have just sat and cried like I wanted to or at least have eaten a whole pint of ice cream to make the pain go away like I usually do. And really, I should have meditated in prayer, remembering this child that is now died and his parents who will never hold their son again. Instead, I walked into the firestorm and just got angrier and angrier and angrier as I saw some the posts that were being made. Finally I came to my senses and turned the computer off and went to bed or tried to go to bed, but that didn't happen either. After about 40 minutes of trying to get my attitude in check, I went to check on my son and this is where the tide changed.

I looked at my baby, sleeping soundly and peacefully and I laid next to him. He didn't shutter or stir as I took a deep whiff of his hair, engulfing myself in his nature smell. I twirled his long curls around my fingers and rubbed them. The strains are still as soft and as silky as when he was first born. I let them go and brushed them out of his face, perfect and round. I studied my baby, watched his chest lift up and down from his breathing. Noticed again that he has a little hypo-pegmentation right at the lash line of his right eye and kissed his eye. His skin, so soft, is the same color as mine, though he is half Japanese. His flat, chubby feet kicked off the covers and I had to laugh. Even sleeping, my son knows what he wants. So I slept with my little one. I could not leave his side. I lay there, grateful that he was may son and I was his mother. That he was alive and healthy and happy and breathing. This little brown boy was the child I had prayed for, hoped for and envisioned all my adult life and he was here, he was real. The bond I have with him is like nothing I have ever known. My role as a parent is one of the most important titles of my life and it is my duty, my responsibility to protect, guide and teach my son until he leaves my home. But what to teach him? Last night, I wondered if I should teach him of the horrors of this world, about the monsters that live in it. That they don't always occupy the closet or take residence under the bed, but that they look very similar to you and me. They live down the street, they drive cars and they very well may be walking behind you, waiting to attack...

No, my job is not scare my son, but to be truthful with him. To be honest about the way things are in life. That even though, his father is Japanese, he is a brown boy, a child of color and the world sees him as such. That there will be many obstacles, prejudices and roadblocks because he is black. He will have to work twice as hard, be twice as smart and more tactful navigating through this journey. That even though our court system was built and founded on principles of justice, he is more likely to be found guilty then a white counter part. We saw this play out last night. And I know people are screaming  " well look at the OJ Simpson case". But I ask you, how many cases has a black man gotten off for murdering a white person? Or how about black men being charged for crimes they did not commit? Now count the times white men have gotten off for murder black people because of "a lack in evidence". And folks, this isn't my angry opinion, this is history and fact whether you want to hear it or not. And it is this history that guides me in raising my child. I know we want to sing around the campfire and pretend that racism is dead, but its not. It is very real and very prevalent. We may have ended segregation, but we have a mental segregation going on in this country, in the world. And I am not going to act as through every white person around him is out to get him either. That's not the message I'm trying to present. I thrive on diversity, which is why I live in the area I live in and send him to the school that he goes to. Look at my own family. There is just as much good, if not more, then bad in the world.  But I will make my son aware of his surrounding and selective about the company he keeps. To not do so, would be an injustice...

To all those over the years who have made the sacrifice for all of us...
Love Malinda

6 comments:

  1. Great post Malinda. Unlike you, I can't seem to put my reactions down in words. I just don't have the words. Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece.
    xoxo

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    1. Thank you for the support Betty. It's more about letting the anger go on both sides and working together to change the laws about gun control, holding our legislators responsible and understand what it is to live in this country. I hope this trial wakes people up.

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    1. Thanks for the support Francis! I really appreciate it and make sure you share my blog. I need all the support I can get :)

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  3. I think what most of America fails to realize is just how hard it is for Black men, especially, nowadays. The see the Kanyes and Jay-Zs and think the hard times are over, but as well all know that is just a facade. I only hope that people from all over will see this case, speak their minds and not bury into deep in their hearts soon to be replaced with something else of lesser importance. But sadly, that often happens...

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    1. Now that's a whole other post in itsself...the new black elitist. I'll keep that one in mind. But yes. I think it's topic that really needs to be discussed honestly. And the fact that America is SO gun crazy.

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