It’s been several days since I have written an entry for the Coronavirus Chronicles. I decided I needed to take a moment to stop chronicling and start tuning in more to current events. I have been doing a lot of thinking. As a Black parent, I have to process and then have a discussion with my Black sons. How do you best tell your Black children that a Black man was killed by a police officer? Children are taught that police officers are part of the community to protect and serve. My twin sons are nine. Part of me wants to shield them from the realities of this world, but the other part of me knows that is dangerous. They are only nine and have already been subjected to racism. The illusion already has cracks.
On Saturday, we watched the CNN & Sesame Street town hall: Standing Up to Racism. It was a good opportunity for my sons to listen to questions from children about the current events and hear responses in a way they can understand. Afterward, we discussed what we watched. One of my sons asked why a protester had an “I Can’t Breathe” sign. I told them that George Floyd died, but I didn’t tell them how. He said, “That sign doesn’t go with the protest.” I explained briefly what happened, so he would understand the sign. My other son was concerned about the curfew in Indianapolis. He asked if we would have to stay at home at night forever. I told him I didn’t think so. He also wanted to know when things would change for Black people. I said that I wish I knew.
Prior to this, I was inundated with statements about recent events. I was even asked to give input on a few. At the end of the day, the statements really mean nothing. Painting Black Lives Matters on the street that leads up to the White House means nothing. Taking down a confederate statue in Indianapolis means nothing. These are all gestures. These gestures won’t stop Black people from being killed. These gestures won’t stop systemic racism. Black people, everyone, should want more.
The real pandemic has always been racism. It has endured for centuries. The coronavirus pandemic had our attention because everyone regardless of race or age was affected. Now, some people are seeing the pandemic of racism and are trying to figure out how to conquer it. I want my sons to not have to have a talk with their children about what being Black in the world means. Maybe this will be the turning point.
I’m looking forward to this week. At 3 PM on Friday, I will begin my summer break. Monday…let’s go!
Oh, I didn’t forget. My one little thing today was teaching my sons how to make a smoothie using the kale we grew. It was delicious, and I was glad to share this knowledge with them.
What will be your one little thing for tomorrow? Let me know.
Stay safe, and wash your hands correctly. Tschüss!