My son is one year old.
He is a beautiful, bright, smiley and happy baby, and in 20 years’ time, with the guidance of myself and my husband, our family and friends, he will grow up to be a bright, smiley, happy man.
A balanced, friendly, kind, compassionate, warm, funny, smart, empathetic and wonderful man, with a beautiful mixed tapestry of heritage, Nigerian, Greek, Australian, German, English, Irish, Eastern European, Turkish, French, Scottish and Russian ancestry.
But today, as I consider that future, I also have to consider that not everyone will see that. Some people might see him and judge him, see him and cross the road, see him and lock their door or wind up their window. Perhaps they will see him and hold their bag tighter, see him and have 999 ready to press as they walk past him, see him and follow him around a shop, see him and grab his beautiful curls, see him and assume he is a great dancer (when, if he is anything like his mum – he will be terrible). They might see him at a job interview and offer someone else that job, or even see him and just treat him badly for no reason other than the colour of his skin.
He doesn’t deserve that, of course. But nor do the millions of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) around the world who experience it nonetheless. The thought breaks my heart and, right now, I can’t shake it.
We need to do better. You need to do better.
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