March 23, 2012

When you are of color, it is every breath you take...

Since the news broke nation-wide about the murder of Trayvon Martin, I have been paralyzed. I could't write about it at all. I immediately went into "crusade-mode", "campaign"-mode, "sign-petition-mode".

Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's mother, has been in my spirit because seeing her rips to my core.

Immediately, I was Tweeting frantically - almost without ceasing - until exhaustion. I did not worry about losing "followers". I did not worry about offending brands, bloggers, or the conservatives that I am friends with. The Trayvon Martin Tragedy was so close to home, I think a part of me died with him.

I frequently write about how I fear society will take my sons from me. Hatred is so rampant these days that I fear for their lives with every breath. I couldn't write about Trayvon Martin because it hurt. Then I read Queen Of Spain.

I have heard nothing but amazing things about my fellow BLOGHER family member but I have never met her. I think, MAYBE, we exchanged a few emails since I belong to the Blogher Book Club? MAYBE? BUT I do recall nothing but love spewing from some of the women I admire most in Blogher - Denise Tanton and Tarrant Figlio. THAT said, when I saw her post being "re-tweeted" on Twitter, I paused, I read, I wept because she had the courage to stand up and say what those in my community have held in our hearts for so long. People may smile in my face, but really they could be of the thought that I need to go back wherever I came from - and most, including me, don't even REALLY know where that is! My features make me a chameleon racially, but I keep it no secret that I am Black.

When I married my ex-husband, he had custody of his toddler. I instantly fell in love. Reflecting now, I may have fallen in love with him first! I immediately wanted the absolute best for him. I was met with extreme resistance at every turn. Being a "step" mom is hard. But because I raised him every single day, I did not feel like I was his step-mom, especially at 1 a.m. when he was sick and I was sweating in a steamed bathroom trying to ease his breathing. He was my baby and he still is.

Once our son together was born, that mother instinct magnified. I had to protect them both at all cost. And that I did. Raising two little boys on Chicago's West Side was not easy. I did everything I could to better myself so that I could get them out.

Before I got them out, I took my youngest to his first WHITE SOX game. At the time he was a budding 3rd baseman. He took one look at this "HOODIE" and begged.

image courtesy of Houseonahillorg

As you can see, it has seen better days. This is actually a REPLACEMENT as the original was lost/stolen/destroyed. He had quite a fit until we went back to 35th and Shields to buy a new one. He used to sleep in it until that HORRID day that he became a C*** Fan <- THAT team on the "other" side of town. I disowned him for a few days, but he still wears this black hoodie.

I truly hate to think that someone might see him in it, think he's "suspicious" and shoot him, or think he's "representing" and shoot him, or be aiming at someone else and shoot him, or be trying to apprehend him and shoot him.

Both my boys have been told since they could speak words, look into someone's eyes while speaking, dress appropriately, articulate your words, try harder, do better, mediocre is not allowed, you are not safe going there, be careful, don't wear that ... they have been schooled the way Erin of "Queen of Spain" relates that she has not had to school her son.

Every breath is measured. Every look and move they make. So it has to be perfect every time - but now we see in realtime - that even that is not enough.

                                       Dedicating this post to my babies who are now 18 & 16

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