Maybe it's because I'm seven days postpartum and dealing with the onslaught of hormones, but more likely it's because I can't take the constant killing of innocent human beings. I tell myself it only happens in other countries. It only happens in other states. The reality is this rarely happens in other developed countries and it's happening in my state. When it's in your own backyard, you are forced to get your head out of the clouds, the sand, your own ass and face the reality that our children are not safe because of the people, organizations and policies that we elected and choose not to correct.
Doing nothing is just as bad as endorsing these activities, so it's time for this mom to raise her voice in defense of all children. As strongly as I advocate for women and their right to choose, be bossy and make moves, I'm even more passionate about my children and their right to live. This is about gun violence in the broadest sense.
It's too much for mothers to have to teach their children how not to get shot. Shouldn't we teach them respect, kindness and love for others and expect for their schools to be safe and the people who are enlisted to protect them to do their jobs? I come from law enforcement in both family and friendships, and I trust these people to protect my babies. While I strongly believe there are more good than bad people out there, the bad speak louder and carry big guns.
Why are we STILL hiring police officers who threaten our children because of the color of their skin, and why are we STILL allowing people with criminal backgrounds to carry guns and threaten our children because they want to?
It's a sad day when I'm relieved my children look more like their pale-skinned, red-headed father than like me, their dark-skinned, afro-donning mother. Relieved that they hopefully will never be profiled for the way they look. As a black mother, I want them to be proud, not afraid, of their blackness, their family, their history. But I'd rather continuously be asked if I'm the nanny than wind up with a dead child, shot senselessly. I imagine a lot of mothers are feeling this way, as babies of color now outnumber non-Hispanic white babies. We are no longer the minority in number, so why are we still the minority in valued life? For the person thinking I'm asking people to value black lives more than others: the acknowledgement and value in one life does not devalue the life of another.
It's also a sad day when I fear for my father who gets pulled over annually for dark tint on his car windows and then interrogated for being in neighborhoods in which he's not welcome. Neighborhoods in which he has lived, worked and paid taxes for 20-some years. Neighborhoods in which he's raised a child and supported grandchildren. Any of these senseless police shootings could have been him, and I'd be out a dad.
Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Jamar Clark, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, the darlings at Sandy Hook Elementary, the people at an Aurora, CO movie theater and the 49 lives lost at Pulse in Orlando, FL all have mothers who can't say I love you to their babies, no matter how old, because a gun was entrusted to someone who shouldn't have one. How many more mothers have to lose a child before anything changes?
We can't live in fear of movies theaters, night clubs, schools, and our own cars, or the people who oppress and attack have won. Call your senator, VOTE, raise your voice, so that those in power can no longer ignore us mothers. This is not a request. We are not asking anymore. Stop killing our children.