Tuesday, July 21, 2009

If you're Black, don't get out of sorts or else!

When I read stories like this, I'm reminded that for Black people, especially Black boys and men, being in complete control of your emotions and reactions is so important. Crucial. Often times it is a matter of life and death. You're human, yes. But they don't see you as such. When they spit in your face, you've got to act like it's rain. When they ask you to step out on your own front porch because someone has reported a break-in, instead of asking you if you are okay . . . you have to oblige. Don't get irate. Don't get belligerent. Don't conduct yourself all disorderly. Don't respond like any other normal white human being would. Be non-violent. Be cooperative. Maybe then you'll get to sleep in your own bed tonight. Maybe then they'll treat you like a part of society and not like your perpetrating the part of a part of society.

What tools can we give our boys to help them learn to control their emotions and channel their anger and frustration? How can we keep our boys out of the hands of law enforcement? I know that for me, the mental discipline of yoga and meditation are key. It is a reminder to me to get my sons involved when I am doing yoga and meditating. I have to remember to encourage them to breathe and walk away even in small playground scuffles and sibling rivalries when they feel enormously violated and feel like they have been treated unfairly. I have to find ways to teach them of their inherent worth . . . that is not diminished by humbling oneself at appropriate times in order to preserve their very lives.

As a mother, it is so frustrating to me, raising Black boys in a racist society. A racist society that hates for us to call it what it is. That wishes we'd all go along with the outright myth that we are post-racial because of the election of Obama.


Sabrina said...

I could have written that post. As the mother 3 black young men how to prepare them for the trials and tribulations they will face from society weighs heavily on my mind. My only hope is that I help them be strong and self confident in who they are.

Anonymous said...

As the new mom of a little black boy that will be raised in the US, I say this post addresses lots of the thoughts I've been having lately.

Ensayn1 said...

Chi-Chi, I remember one night several years ago when I was at my mother's house, I told her I was about to walk around the corner to see a good friend of mine. It was about 10:00 pm. She looked at me and said "son be careful, because you know the police are out tonight." That has stuck with me for years. She didn't say be careful because the Mexican gangs are shooting Black men, she didn't say watchout for the Crips or Pirus as you walk. No, she didn't say be mindful of someone trying to rob you. She said watchout for the police. What a shame. That was when I live in Southern Cali, now I live in Atlanta. A different place on so many levels. But, each day as I sit and wait for my Queen to pick me up from the airport (the MARTA train system ends there) I watch the Black police officers ask white people to move their cars since they are not loading passengers, just waiting for them and notice how white people always have something to say to the officer rather than just moving. You cannot park and wait in these areas, and each time I see white men and women loud talk or give some lip service back to the officer. Lord, and don't let it be a Black female officer and a white man, the white man really takes the liberty to run his mouth to the Black female officer. White people in the U.S. will never feel what my mother felt the night I walked out her door.

Chi-Chi, The Original Wombman said...

Sabrina, I totally agree. NGB . . . it's so tough especially when they are so young! This is what we have to look forward to?

Ensayn, that is so profound. Interestingly enough, in school they always told us if we were lost to find a police officer. My mom always told us never to do that. To find another mother (someone with children) and ask her for help. I knew from young to avoid the cops too.

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