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.

 

Taking stock

 

I’d never really had to think about what the world would be for him, up until this last week. But since I started considering it, I’ve cried a lot. I am so fearful of what life could look like for him.

 

As a black woman I’ve really been lucky not to have experienced any outward racial attacks, to have lived my life without feeling that I was less than anyone – and I know that that is not the same story for a lot of friends who have black, Hispanic, Asian, Indian or Pakistani, Philipino or Chinese heritage and who have grown up with racial abuse.

 

For myself, as a mum to a little boy of colour, I really want to be able to make sure that he walks his life feeling like the world is totally his. Feeling that he can achieve as much as he wants to, that the colour of his skin will never hold him back. Isn’t that what every mother wants?

 

We all have to do better. For my son, and for so many others. For him and for the countless sons and daughters out there whose parents are feeling the same.

 

We need to do better. You need to do better.

 

Time to learn

 

We need to educate ourselves about all of the racisms we have in us – unintentional and intentional, micro and macro. We need to educate ourselves, and we need to educate each other. There are so many resources out there, so many at this time that are easier to find, so we need to start. We need to read, ourselves, with our kids and with our family members. We need to think about the movies and the TV shows we watch. We need to have open conversations about it all.

 

As awkward as it may be, we need to foster a better understanding of each other. Not all families look like the ones we see on TV or read about in the books we recite to our kids at bed time. We need to seek diversity where we can. We need to call each other out when things are said that demonstrate a judgement based purely on skin or hue, on how dark that person may be or how broad their nose is.

 

We need to do better. You need to do better.

 

You need to look inward.


You need to be careful with your words.


You need to open up to people.


You need to act from a place of kindness.


You need to act from a place from love.


You need to identify what fear you have inside that comes out as hate, or hateful words, or hateful thoughts.


And you need to do this over and over and over again, for this is not a quick fix.

 

Time for change

 

We need to do better, and that comes from action.

 

Essentially, I have to believe that every single person on this planet wants the same thing. That my goals, aspirations and dreams are the same as your goals, aspirations and dreams, that what I want for my son and the world he inhabits is, in some shape or form, the exact same as what the next person wants for their child, regardless of colour or geographical location.

 

Black lives matter. For the sake of my little boy’s future, and so many other little boys of colour and girls of colour. For the sake of the future we carve for ourselves and the world we choose to live in.

 

We have to do better. You have to do better.

 

Share this
Back to category