Guest blogger, J'Nell Lane, NorthHaven Day School Teacher….
My heart hurts. I am a Caucasian-American woman. I am a wife, to a wonderful African-American man. I am a mother, to two beautiful bi-racial children, one who happens to be a little 3 year old boy. You may ask, why does my heart hurt? When actually, the question of the day is, why would my heart not heart?
My heart hurts deeply as I watch the many stories pouring from our media outlets. Each day, there is a new hash tag. Each day, a new family and a new city are plastered over the media. This is not about #blacklivesmatter, #bluelivesmatter, #alllivesmatter, or any other hash tag that has been put out there. For me, this is about #HumanRaceMatters.
My Dearest Son,
From the moment I first held you, your beautiful caramel skin and your big brown eyes captured my heart. Your black curly hair was so soft and I loved smelling it and feeling your soft curls. Your dad and I have raised you from day one, to have love in your heart and to always be true to yourself, no matter what crosses your path. When I look into your sweet face, I see: a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, a friend, a loving child of God.
You have been taught to love all those around you; to love Jesus; to always pray; to forgive others always; to never hold grudges; to have manners; to respect yourself, as well as others; to be a good citizen; to obey the rules; to respect the laws around you; but most important to never give up or settle in life.
Your dad and I have strived for you to know love and peace; to be the man that we know in our hearts that you can be. To stand up for what is right, no matter how un-cool you may think you look. But soon, things will change for you. Soon, you will no longer be walking the streets beside your parents. Soon, you will no longer be eating dinner with your grandparents. Soon, you will no longer be riding in the passenger seat of the minivan.
Soon, your life will be different.
Soon you will have to be more self-conscience of what you wear; how you talk; the way you walk. Soon you will have to make a decision of whether or not to keep your insurance card in the visor or in the glove compartment, for fear of being mistaken for reaching for a “weapon” or whether or not to simply ask someone else to get it for you out of its location. Soon you will have to make a choice of how late to be out at night for fear of being targeted. Soon you will be judged on whether you have more black or white friends or whether you have a black or white girlfriend. Soon you will subconsciously determine whether or not to wear a hooded sweatshirt or a zip up jacket when it is cold outside.
Sooner than later, you will be out on your own, alone and being judged by all those around you. You will be faced with decisions and situations that I have never been faced with. You will be in a world that I never had to face in your shoes. But as your mom, I can only pray that you may never lose sight of the value your life has. May you always show respect to those in and out of uniform. May you always be true to yourself, as a man and as a human. May you always be the one to remain peaceful, calm, and to show love to all those around you.
Tonight, as you read this, you may be fearful but the Lord says in Isaiah 41:10 “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand.”
Tonight, and every night, from here to eternity, this will be our prayer for you: “Dear God, please protect my son from those who are judge-mental, from those who are racist, from those who look to cause harm. Please guide my son in his decision making. Remain steadfast in his heart, so that he will always turn to you Father. Lead him with your light, from the shadows of his darkest hours. Lord, just place your loving hands upon him each and every day. In your name, Amen.”
Mom & Dad
You see, I have had to think about and write a preview of what my life will look like with a bi-racial teenage son, who will be out in our world where you are viewed by the color of your skin. I have had to theorize about a conversation that will not take place for several years, simply because my son will be a bi-racial man, where there is a good chance that he will be profiled, due to his race.
Unfortunately, there will be moments in his life, where he will be judged simply by that. But I pray that his foundation in our home will prepare him to conquer it with no hesitation, because you see….God created the amazing human race. A beautiful mixture of colors, shapes, and sizes. A race where we were taught to love one another, and with love will come peace. So it isn’t just about one specific race or ones choice of career path mattering more than the other…to me it’s all about. . .