Friday, March 30, 2012

The Apple. The Tree's and HATE....

I have stayed away from reading the updates, and articles over the Trayvon Martin murder.

NOT because I don’t want to be educated.
NOT because I don’t want to be supportive, and or outraged at the complete injustice….

Simply because it scares me, and breaks my heart.

As a Mother to four beautiful, crazy, independent boys, two of which have light skin, two of which have dark skin. WHY? Why in this day and age do I have to teach my boys separately the reality of dangers in driving at night? Making hands visible on wheels, speaking overly respectful to cops. Why do my children being raised in my home, with the same values and beliefs have separate stereo-types to face once they walk out of my door.
In 2010, after my children came home from Haiti. My mom came for a visit and stayed at a hotel, with a pool. She invited all of her grandbabies up for a swim.
Lets be honest, my 11 member family, and my brothers 5 member family, kinda commandeered the whole pool.

My kids camped out on the stairs as I and my husband took routine turns bringing them out into deeper water.

A family walked in. Mother, Father, two children. I smiled, really friendly, and as they directed their children into the hot tub…I realized my kids were taking up all of the stairs.

I smiled at the Mom and said “I am so sorry, I can have all these munchkins scoot to one side of the railing, we don’t need to hog up the stairs.”

That is when she gave me the disgusted look, and glared at my children.
“That really isn’t the problem”. As she pointed her chin in my children’s direction.

My first reaction (come on I went to high school in Philly)…
(imagine the neck roll and sway)
“OH NO she Di’ Int!”

As a mature mother of 9…I weakly looked at her with hurt eyes. Swallowed that lump of hurt in my throat, and tried to have fun with my children without making eye contact.

Part of my heart ached so deeply, my brain screamed “YOU HAVE
and then I looked at her two young children a boy and a girl …only sticking their toes in the too-hot water, and I saw the true injustice…that hate, that ignorance being spoon fed to those two beautiful children.

After another 30 minutes I pushed through, for the sake of whatever I thought I needed to prove…my kids were sufficiently raison-ed.   We toweled off and I begun the process of taking first the girls and then the boys into the bathroom to dry off and slip into pajama’s.

As I walked back into the pool area, to retrieve another batch of short people. An older woman with a disgusted face (whom I perceived as the Grandmother to the other children) Glared at me and said “Oh no your NOT bringing those children in here!”

“WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?” is what I screamed in my head.

Again the mature woman in me (sometimes I hate her) simply calmly said:
“Nope we are done here…just got the party started!”

I think back and sometimes wish I would have had some snarky remark about “be careful my brown kids probably peed in the pool!” But that would not have been effective, christian, or made any point other than reiterating ugliness.

So instead, I ushered my kids out, buying Ice Cream cones on the way home.
Secretly thanked the Heavens they had not noticed the injustice that was being paid in their direction…and uttered a silent prayer for that little boy and girl (the poor little apples needing to fall FAR, far away from the dark shadow of their Tree's) hoping they will overcome odds they will have to face being raised in Hate, Ignorance and Intolerance.

A gun didn’t kill Trayvon Martin, hate did.


  1. so true... and hate comes in all colors...

  2. Beautifully written and oh so true!!

  3. Well....actually, I would argue that fear did. Don't you think that hate is really fear in disguise? Fear makes you vulnerable. Hate is fear that denies its vulnerability.

    Of my very few "incidents" with racial stuff, the ones that stand out have been when people of anoher race PRESUMED I was being mean-spirited or meant something I didn't mean. I can think of few things more mortifying and also impossible to explain. When I was maybe twelve I was in line at our public pool - in the hot sun for what seemed like forever, and I idly began to look at the various towels people were holding....and my eyes got wrapped up in a towel with a pattern of purple roses. Suddenly, I hear an aggresive "What you starin' at?!?" It took me a few moments to a) realize I was being spoken to, and b) realize tat this little black boy was somehow taking offense that I was staring...he thought I was staring at him, not his towel, and he was looking at me with hate. I stuttered that I liked his towel, but I was so sick at heart (actually literally sick to my stomach) that I was thrown into a state of near-shock and spent the rest of the time until my mom picked me up, hiding in the changing room. In some ways, maybe, I was hating him.....for choosing to misunderstand me and publicly humiliating me. I didn't go to the pool again all summer. I know it was over-reaction on my part...but I was such a sensitive soul and every aspect of the event was mortifying....that I hurt his feelings, that he didn't react with hurt but by being mean, that he would never understand I wasn't prejudiced, that everyone around me now thught I was prejudiced....just the pain of being misunderstood.

    That story is partly to say, I'm so glad you weren't snarky. You can never really be sure what people mean, or what past experiences have formed their thinking.

    That said, my goddaughter is Nigerian. Whenever I had her with me as a child, (she's in college now) a surprising array of feelings circulated through me and around me, and reactions and comments came from others that caused me to conclude that the ideas and feelings that surround race in this country are a knotted up mess.

    Sorry, I always write too long a reply.

  4. Hate totally is fear in disguise. Regardless: :( :( :( Have to believe love will always be more powerful than hate, but some days it's so hard to see. Hugs.

  5. Thank you for constantly being an example of love. No matter how awful other people are, you let love shine through. You have inspired me to draw closer to God and allow His love to flow through, because it is only in his strength we survive.

    thank you