Saturday, July 13, 2013

a Longing for Justice

Tonight, the verdict was read, and I immediately wanted to throw up.  My family came home from grocery shopping, and I had to leave the house to keep from crying in front of my kids. 

I walked around my white neighborhood in the safety of my white skin for an hour.  My emotions that had started with shock morphed into intense anger for about twenty minutes, and I walked the pristine neighborhood with a tightly clenched fist, nails burning into my palm.  I understood a little bit the emotion that incites a riot.  I wanted to punch something or set something on fire. 

On my walk, I'd stop to check fb on my phone and see other expressions of grief, shock, and anger.  I stopped on a public staircase and cried. 

I posted a status update saying "No one in this country prays harder than the mothers of black sons."  I was, and am, at a loss at how this could happen.  I fear for my baby boy, the one who still wants to be picked up by his mama, the one who pats my back as we hug, the way he did at the age of nine-months, the one who often wears hoodies and will be seen as a threat once he reaches puberty.  He'll probably still pat my back when we hug.

After an hour, I decided to go home and bake cookies with my kids.  I let them open the butter, scoop the sugar, crack the eggs, turn the mixer on and form balls of dough to be plopped onto the cookie sheet.  My son came down to the kitchen/dining room with his CD player from his room and a CD of old-timey radio shows from the '40s that a friend from college made for him when he was two.  It's how he usually goes to sleep at night these days, listening to old-time radio hour shows about Pecos Bill and Robin Hood.

 He laid on the floor tonight and listened to the same stories that children during the second world war listened to at night.  He rolled on the floor sucking his thumb, singing along at certain songs he's learned.  He's a night-owl who listens to these sometimes after everyone else has gone to sleep.  I was surprised to hear him singing along to songs that I don't even know.  In between batches of cookies being put into the oven, he wanted me to sit with him and listen, safely on my lap.  It was exactly what I needed: a night in the safety of our home where he is in my arms and untouched by the trigger-happy racists of this country. 

No one in this country prays harder than the mothers of black sons.

1 comment:

  1. I agree.
    I cried this morning just holding and rocking my little almost three year old sweet boy. I asked my husband "How can we live in a country where this kind of racism exists?" We want to move, far far away.