In honor of Blackout Tuesday and Black Lives Matter, I took my 8 year old son to the protest in our small town of Poulsbo, population 10,000. We had over 1000 people turn out to support, it remained peaceful, and yes, everyone wore masks outside standing 6 feet apart.
Decided to go public and share our experience. Here’s an excerpt of the Facebook post:
Teaching my 8 year old son the lessons on race this week. He is mixed, so people won’t question him as much not knowing what to ask.
How Asians are a privileged minority race.
How white privilege looks even though he’s mixed. Like how he can get a bandaid that matches his skin. Or find a movie where the lead person looks like him versus a supporting role.
Or not have to worry about representing a whole race by your individual actions.
Or not have to overcome predetermined narratives (negative or positive) that come with your race when having a conversation.
How it’s hard for his dad who’s a white male to even know what he doesn’t know. That we are all doing our best.
That if he were a little black boy, I’d have to give him a totally different upbringing to protect him from racism that he will likely never be forced to deal with. Like people clutching their bags or getting a feared look when you just walk down the street.
I once was going to hire a black man who had an extraordinary commitment to building the social enterprise system that I met at a national conference, had won several grants and demonstrated major leadership in the community in the face of being formerly incarcerated (wrongfully and an over the top prison sentence).
All he did was zen out in prison learning all he could to be a better person making the most of it.
The day we were supposed to do a phone interview he texts to cancel. I call to find out that his cousin just got shot in his neighborhood. Under 30 years old.
I said go be with your family…and it was then that I realized my privilege in not having to deal with major trauma all the time around you to get ahead in life.
As my mexican friend said, “Imagine 2 pools to swim in. One is chlorinated, clean, and easy to swim in. The other is not just dirty, but filled with knives, junk, crap. Try swimming in that. That pool is the pool we didn’t get a choice to swim in that every day we must swim in to thrive in life.”
Here’s what I have done as a parent to educate my son.
- I share stories. I try and tell new narratives that are from the minority view.
- I buy children’s books that have black protagonist or all black characters. Or all natives. Or all Latino. Or all asian.
- I point out inherent racism in old cartoon strips by how black people were depicted in cartoons that don’t flatter.
- I have my son watch movies like Hidden Figures to understand what it was like for middle class black families working as NASA engineers and scientists to not only have to run a mile to go to the colored bathrooms, but be thrown out the library to learn or petition to court to simply get a raise because the color of their skin.
- I take him to Peaceful protests to see how much of the community supports that black lives matter– that all lives matter–and engage in uncomfortable dialogue of the way the world is in this moment, and what the world can be.
- I show him all the victories of humanity uniting in the wake of the black lives matter movement…how the protests are making a difference this time and aren’t just another passing phase that disappears into institutionalized racism once again.
So he has hope for what is also happening now in speaking out.
So he stays informed and acts versus stay silent.
So we both learn and listen to an unheard narrative functioning as one human race.
Anna S. Choi, Conscious Business Coach, empowers the next generation of global leaders to focus their energy and find peace in chaos. By age 25, Anna was able to triple her net income and gross six figures but was totally burned out. Now she helps business leaders grow in flow, igniting a Presence Movement to elevate humanity’s consciousness. If you’re interested in gaining focus, clarity, accountability in a like-minded community, learn more at www.annasunchoi.com
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