I don’t want normal. I want better

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter”- Martin Luther King Jr.

The year 2020 has truly shaken the way we live our lives. I hear time and time again people who “miss the way life used to be”. Recently, that has gotten me thinking- why would we want to just go back to “normal” why not do better? What about the people who haven’t lived a life of privilege to begin with? The people that are treated unfairly? What about our black friends and family? Why would they want to go back- why not do better?

I don’t want my kids to grow up in a world like the one I grew up in. I want them to grow up in a better world, a kinder world.

I grew up privileged because of the whiteness of my skin. Although the firstborn to immigrants from Mexico, my skin is white, and that has provided me with privilege my whole life.

Yes, admitting that we have privilege can be difficult. Admitting that we have benefited in life just because of our skin is embarrassing. It’s uncomfortable to admit that, but I think it’s the first step to doing better. I am here to say I want to do the work to unlearn that & I hope you do too.

We have the power as parents to make that change for the future. We have that power with our platforms to INFLUENCE change. We have the power to have discussions with our friends and family about the importance of doing better, being better, and saying better.

And it starts in our home. It truly starts with US. We need to talk about race with our kids. The conversations need to start now. The earlier the better. I don’t have the answers of the “right” way to do it.

W took a look around their playroom and took inventory of their books and dolls. No black or brown dolls. No diversity. How could have been so ignorant not to notice or make a conscious effort?

The books, the diverse toys, and the conversations need to start now. They must be such a normalized topic they become part of our lifestyle. Being anti-racist needs to be part of our lifestyle.

I don’t want my kids to simply grow up being accepting, I want my kids to be anti-racist. I want them to speak up. I want them to be proactive. And it all starts with my husband & I.

As much as I can’t truly understand I try to imagine- what if it were my kids? What if my kids had to grow up feeling this way. WHY WOULD I WANT ANYONE TO HAVE TO FEEL THAT WAY? Just because I can’t understand the feeling doesn’t mean I can’t listen.

I have looked at this whole movement from the perspective as a mother, and it hurts so much. It hurts so much to think any mother should have to fear for their child’s safety. Why should they have to fear their boys will be seen as dangerous for none other than the color of their skin?

“It is not enough to be quietly non-racist, now is the time to be vocally anti-racist”

And I know you may sit there and think “But I’ve never taught my kids to be racist”…but did you teach them to stand up to people who are? Because my husband and I failed to think that us not being racist was enough.

We get so wrapped up in our bubble and so used to routine we start to become complacent. If were not affected by racism we lived in a bubble, and black families just went on about their lives with racism being a part of them. Why?

The amount of hate and pushback from racist folks regarding reform has my mind blown. Why is the concept of equality such a struggle to understand? And I know- our system was built broken and those who are comfortable in it don’t want the change.

I truly “understand” the logistics of why people want to remain at the top, but can’t wrap my head around the lack of humanity.

So no, I don’t want to go back to “normal”. I don’t want to let the Black Lives Matter movement fade away. I don’t want to have the life I had before. I want to continue to fight for a new and BETTER normal.

For my kids, for your kids, for all kids. George Floyd called out “Momma” so you- you as a mom- you’re up. It’s your time and my time to BE THE CHANGE.

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1 Comment

  1. June 5, 2020 / 6:46 am

    I think this is great Karen! Especially when you talked about well I didn’t teach my kids to be racists. But did I teach my kids to not be racist. I felt that! You are such a good writer. Thank you for shining a light on this. ✊🏾❤️

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