Same Story, Different Decade

My heart is a bit heavy right now with everything that is going on with regards to the death of George Floyd. It reminds me that my kids are not safe.
I’ve always told them since they were little, “don’t put the hoodie up” because I didn’t want people to think they were “thugs”. I taught my older son, who is on the spectrum and has always been tall for his age, not to raise his hands in frustration because someone watching from afar may misinterpret it as a threat. We even refused to let him ride the train at night when he first went to college (just in case). We explained to him that if he disagreed with someone to gently say “I don’t agree and am going to walk away now”. And to slowly back away with his hands by his sides before turning. And to NEVER put his hands in his pockets. Because in our society he would be seen as a threat first and a human being (maybe), later.
With quarantine, they have been home and I have slept better. But now we are re-opening. My daughter (who is a 2020 HS grad) rides her skateboard in my neighborhood but with her hoodie on because salons are closed and I am not cool enough to do her hair. And I worry.
My youngest stays home. If he ventures out he never goes alone. He gets it more than his older siblings. He has to be extra careful. He has seen that if he and a classmate are doing the exact same thing (joking around) he would be the one to get reprimanded. So I tell him, no joking around at school. Or at crew practice. Or at competitions. Yes I know the other kids do, but you are the one who will be seen as the threat, the instigator, the thug.
So though I put up a brave face, deep down I am sad.
But I know that I have to put my chin up, reach out to my colleagues, friends and family and figure out what we can do to make some change.
Education?
Advocacy?
Definitely something.
And I am looking forward to utilizing whatever resources are available that will help me not feel so powerless.

Published by tilimd

Healthcare exec who is a family doc, wife and mother with lots of opinions about what is happening locally, nationally & globally. Opinions my own.

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