Monday, October 27, 2014

"He Can Do What His Black Son Cannot"


"He Can Do What His Black Son Cannot"
Gregory V. Boulware
   "7 Things I Can Do That My Black Son Can’t"
Calvin Hennick

"My plan for your future has always been filled with hope, because I love you with an everlasting love. My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. And I rejoice over you with singing. I will never stop doing good to you, for you are my treasured possession. I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. And I want to show you great and marvelous things."
 "Many people who are ‘Bi-Racial’ have been perceived as ‘Black’ unless it benefits or pleases the eye of the beholder. Not to mention those who have been described as passing – (for white). Many children who are Bi-Racial have been raised in the Black community. However, that particular count is misleading. The billions of Bi-Racial Children all over the world have not been included with...:

In the days after the Michael Brown shooting, I wrote an essay titled “I Hope My Son Stays White,” detailing my fears about what might happen to my biracial three-year-old son if he grows up to have dark skin. The upshot: America, to its shame, is still a place where black males are feared, and I don’t want that fear to turn itself on my son in a way that leads to his arrest or death.

I published the piece on, and the reactions from black readers ranged from “sad but true” to allegations that I myself was engaging in the very racism and colorism that I was decrying. But buried among these was a comment from a white reader who accused me of “sucking up to black folk” and then went on to list the supposed advantages of being black in America. (Apparently, according to this reader, my son will have an unearned fast track to a career as an air traffic controller.

(Um, okay?)

I can’t help but think that, if the essay had been published in an outlet with a larger white readership, many more commenters would have chimed in to deny the continued existence of racism. In my experience, white people (and straight people, and male people, and Christian people — all groups of which I’m a member) tend to dismiss the notion that we’re privileged. It’s an uncomfortable thing to acknowledge that you’re the recipient of unfair benefits, especially when those benefits are often nearly invisible to those who receive them.

But when you’re a parent, those privileges stop being invisible. It’s the reason why male congressmen with daughters are more likely to support women’s issues. It’s the reason why Ohio Sen. Rob Portman suddenly declared his support for same-sex marriage after his son came out as gay. And it’s the reason why, everywhere I look, I see hassles that my son will have to face that I don’t. Here’s a partial list of things I can take for granted, but which will likely be problematic for my son:

1. I Can Walk Through a Store Without Being Followed.
To take one high-profile instance, Macy’s and the city of New York recently settled with actor Robert Brown, who was handcuffed, humiliated, and accused of committing credit card fraud after buying an expensive watch at the store.

I never have to worry about this happening to me.

2. I Can Succeed Without It Being Attributed to My Race

When my wife, who is black, received her acceptance letter from Boston College, a peer told her she must have gotten in due to affirmative action, effectively ruining the experience of receiving the letter.

When I succeed, people assume I’ve earned it.

3. I Learned About My Ancestors’ History in School

I can tell you all about Louis XIV, Socrates, and the Magna Carta, but I always wondered when we would finally learn about African history (beyond Pharaohs and Pyramids). The subject never came up.

4. I Can Lose My Temper in Traffic

Once, an acquaintance who got into a confrontation while driving told me how scared she was of the other driver, describing him as a “big black guy.” When I get heated, no one attributes it to my race.

5. I Can Loiter in Wealthy Neighborhoods

No one has ever called the cops on me to report a “suspicious person.” My wife can’t say the same.

6. I Can Complain About Racism

When I point out that black people are incarcerated at alarming rates, or largely forced to send their children to underperforming schools, or face systemic discrimination when searching for jobs and housing, no one accuses me of “playing the race card.”

7. I Can Count on Being Met on My Own Terms

If I’m being treated poorly, I don’t stop and think about whether it’s due to my race. But unless we somehow make a giant leap forward, my son will always have to wonder.

Recently, I became a father for the second time. My daughter, only three months old, will grow up to face many of the same challenges as my son, on top of the extra ones that come with being a woman: the struggle for equal pay, the catcalling, the constant threat of sexual assault.

I don’t want to give my children a complex about all of this, but I can’t wish these problems away, either. I can’t eliminate all the unfair hurdles that exist in the world. I can only do my best to raise kids who are able to jump over them.


“We Are Not The Minority”

“Rich And Greedy Poor And Needy”

“Across The Way”

“First to Fly, A True African-American Adventure”

"The Colour of the Old West"


“Play It Again - Uncle Sam”

"Remember the Train"

“Bold Intimidation and Evil Intent”

'Black American Freedom Fighters'

“A Love Letter From Father"

'Ellen G. white'
"Teach me Thy way O Lord, and lead me in a plain path."

1 comment:

  1. /*
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