After this week’s events in Charlottesville, Virginia, I began to process what I could do. Being a white woman married to an African American man and raising our children in South Louisiana, race is always part of our life. Immediately, I began thinking that my reactions needed to start at home, as a parent.
Our biggest defense against hate in the world is our children.
Your children are watching you – they are watching how you respond to the guy in the store who may, to you, look a little “sketchy.” They are watching you talk to your girlfriends and how you respond to news articles. Remember to respond in love and show your children that hating does not improve this world, only love does that.
Do you live in a place where race isn’t an issue? If you do, I am happy for you but this doesn’t mean that you can ignore it. Just because racism isn’t your issue, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist or that you can ignore it. Say something. Teach your children that we are all equal and that no one race is greater than another.
I know sometimes it is overwhelming to know what to do or how to help. I want to challenge you to start in your circle. Begin by talking to your spouse, parents or family. Be intentional about who you put your children around. I know it can be hard as parents if you want to “protect” your children, but I promise your life will only be enhanced by learning from people of a different background than you.
The only thing that we can hold onto in this mess that we are dealing with as a country is that we are part of the change. In 20 years, what will the world be like for our children? I don’t know about you, but I would like to see a world with significantly less violence. I would like a world where people are loved and celebrated for who they are and not who the world wants them to be. Finally, I would like a world filled with love.
Remember, it all starts with you – YOU can make a huge difference in how our world goes forward beginning with your circle.
Another Concerned Parent
I will end with a couple quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. that are extremely relevant to the time that our world currently is in.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”