Bricks for blog post by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
New Perspectives

My White Privilege

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.

That’s privilege.

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:

President Obama’s list of resources

NAACP’s form to write your congressperson

The Conscious Kid on Instagram

Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners

1619 Project by the New York Times and the movie 13th on Netflix

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