Why I didn’t participate in Black Out Tuesday
It has come to my attention that certain groups are calling out white owned businesses in Shreveport and the surrounding area for not participating in Black Out Tuesday or publicly crying out in outrage over the current and ongoing plight of our African American brothers and sisters.
I did not feel the need to post a black square on my social media or that of my business on Tuesday because I cry out in outrage EVERY day. Not just on social media for my privileged white colleagues to see and applaud me for and not just a day set aside by social media. I will not be bullied into thinking my decision was wrong and will not be shamed into cowering to a group of small minded individuals with the sole purpose of damaging reputations of local businesses.
As the mother of a bi racial child I see first-hand racism in this city. I stand up with my daughter DAILY against bullying and hatred. I CRY with my daughter when she is targeted or dismissed because of the color of her skin. I go full on “Momma Bear” when white teachers use the color of her skin to explain away her behavior in class. She has ADHD. It doesn’t mean she’s a thug. Or when white girls bully her and she stands up for herself and it’s somehow my daughters fault. Her fault…for being black and yelling at white classmates after they torture her for an entire school year before she can’t take it anymore. I hold my child as she cries when people tell her she’s “not black enough” or “not white enough” because she is both. I scream internally as I hold her hand and tell her people are cruel but she is gorgeous and she can do anything. I come to her aid and fight with her EVERY TIME people in our neighborhood assume she’s up to no good because she’s running while being black. I try my best to calm her fears about being outside in our yard, where we have lived peacefully for 15 years, because the “Neighborhood Watch” now has a Facebook page where people looking suspicious, AKA being black outside, are called out and the police are called. I am heart sick that I have to have conversations with her about what to do WHEN not IF she is pulled over by the police. She gets her license in 10 days and I pray she remembers what I’ve told her.
So many hard conversations have been had over the past couple of years and many more this week about the outrage and rioting over the senseless murder of George Floyd and so many more like him. My daughter understands. She’s upset, as am I and as we all should be. She wants to stand up and so I stand beside her, holding her hand as we fight this together. Black and White.
However, I’ve also tried to teach my child that not all police officers are bad people. In fact it is only a small portion of that group whose hearts are full of hatred. I have tried to teach her to be respectful while still standing up for herself. We Back the Blue and support Black Lives Matter all that the same time. AND THAT’S OK. It’s not that we haven’t chosen a side. We have and my side will always be by her side. Fighting with her and for her DAILY.
So don’t judge me, Karen, because I didn’t put a black square on my social media page one day. I stand up EVERY DAY and will continue to do so proudly until my daughter and so many of her friends don’t have to have conversations about what to do when they get pulled over. I will fight until she doesn’t have to worry about going outside by herself. I will scream at the top of my lungs daily until she is no longer pushed aside or bullied because of the color of her skin. I will walk beside her until we no longer have to walk and protest in this country for equality and justice for all. Not just one day a year. EVERY DAY.