My heart sped up as I listened to Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speak last weekend:
Let me just speak to what’s happening here today.
Above everything else, I am a mother. I am a mother to four black children in America, one of whom is 18 years old. And when I saw the murder of George Floyd, I hurt like a mother would hurt.
And on yesterday, when I heard there were rumors about violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do. I called my son and I said, ‘Where are you?’ I said, ‘I cannot protect you,’ and black boys shouldn’t be out today.
My headspace hung on that last piece: “I cannot protect you.” It is a mother’s worst nightmare.
I have felt much more worried about my children over the past two and a half years than I ever did when their father was alive. I know I cannot always protect my children.
But I do not also worry that they are in danger because of the color of their skin.
Keisha Lance Bottoms is a married mother, and I am a single mom. Still, being white gives me an advantage that nonwhite moms (both single and married) don’t have. I worry about my kids’ safety, but I don’t worry about their safety because of the color of their skin.
Like other young widows, I have dealt with my share of shit in this world. But my white privilege means that the bad things that have happened to me didn’t happen because of my race.
I want to say more, but I am aware that I come to this with a beginner’s mind. What I know is this: no mother should have to worry like black mothers have to worry about the safety of their children.
**For more, you can click on these resources: