I have passed on the fear of being different.
I have passed on the guilt of my silence.
Tonight my boy recalled an incident he experienced while we were at the Smithsonian American History Museum. As I was on my phone (I should listen to Kid President’s #1 tip.) posting about the joys of our DC trip, a group of black teens said to him, “Taste the Rainbow-Flavored Nigger,” then they laughed at him.
He tugged at me, but I became annoyed and made him wait, as they stared and and continued to laugh. He held in his fear and waited for me to move us on to the next exhibit upstairs. All this has been held inside him until dinner today.
I am hurt that he was hurt. I am frustrated that the minority groups in our country fight and ridicule one another. I wonder how my mother felt, as she viewed me being ridiculed, as she heard me cry about mean words that she couldn’t fully understand. She must have felt as helpless as I do now.
Really, we weren’t different. She fought with her weight, which became her oppression. The children that mocked me would call her a “big, fat hippopotamus” as she chased them in her motherly drive to protect me.
Like her, I will pass on other things to my boy.
I will pass on my resilience.
I will pass on my pride in being unique.
I will pass on the celebration of all that makes us different.