I live in Virginia.
The state where White Supremacists marched through the city of Charlottesville last weekend spewing hate. The state where a White Supremacist rammed his car into a crowd of protesters killing a young woman named Heather. The state where White Supremacists beat and bloodied people who look like me simply because of the color of their skin. The state where I am raising my daughter.
I am an African American Woman. My Husband is a Greek, Irish, Scottish White American Man. Our daughter is a combination of our rich heritages and she is oblivious of the world around her. A world that will treat her differently due to the deep hues of her beautiful skin.
How can I prepare her?
This is a question I ask myself everyday.
When I finally start to find comfort in this world, racism rears its ugly head. It is all too familiar. It is an invader that comes knocking at my door, time and time again, year after year, season upon season, ever since I was a small child. It sinks its teeth deep, literally trying to rip away my beautiful dark skin.
Sometimes I look at my husband and stare deeply into his blue eyes, wondering if he truly understands the world that we live in. Does he truly understand that our daughter and I will never have the same privileges that he has. Does he understand my anger and my pain when another Black Man or Black Woman is killed ruthlessly in the streets just because God blessed them with deeper shades of melanin?
A world where ya’lls President states there is “hate coming from both sides” as we watch White Supremacists march down the streets of America in 2017 with tiki torches (tiki torches? really?), yelling “blood and soil”.
Do they mean the blood of my Ancestors that forever runs deep into the soil they walk on? Whom were beaten and treated like animals? Who were sold on auction blocks and not considered Human?
I look at my husband and wonder. Does he understand?
He does. And for that I am grateful.
Every chance he gets, he speaks out against White Supremacy. In a recent Facebook post he stated: “I don’t, by any extent, love all people who look like me. It is healthy and enriching to love your heritage, but don’t use it to revile or transgress against someone else just because they don’t share it.”
He understood my pain when people close to us voted for Trump and called them out on it.
He listens to me when I express fears of possibly not coming home at night simply because I am a Black Woman.
He tries to comfort me as I worry and ponder about how the world will look when our daughter grows up.
He listens when I call him out on his own prejudices. He is willing to learn and grow.
He marches with me in rallies against hate and injustice. He stands for what is right.
He gets it and together as a team we will raise our daughter. A mixed child growing up in Trump’s America.
We will teach her love, not hate. We will teach her to be vigilant and aware. We will teach her that not everyone is kind and for that we are sorry, however we will persevere. We will teach her marital arts and reasoning. We will teach her about justice. We will teach her that simply because her skin is lighter than others, does not mean she is better than others.
We’ll be ready if she ever comes to us and asks why people who look like her Dad forced this Nation to be built upon the backs of people who look like her Mom.
Racism has no place in our home.
We will teach her and hope in return she will teach others.
Our children are the next generation.
Children are not born with hate, they are taught it.
In Trump’s America, people don’t want to see families like ours together. They feel its a threat to their lineage, to their ancestry, to their forefathers to see a Black Woman with deep dark chocolate skin and a White Man with only a touch of melanin together as one, loving one another, cherishing one another, standing by one another, with a beautiful baby by their side.
We are America. A place of diverse, rich cultures. A melting pot of love. A Nation whose Native people were not White Supremacists. This is not Trump’s America. This is our America and it was already Great.
As parents of a mixed child, we will not stand for hate. And our daughter won’t either.
Will you join us?
Khadijah is the founder of Muslim Nannies and RAHMA (HIV/AIDS organization). She is passionate about helping the community and identifying resources to help others. She was invited to The White House and met President Obama in recognition for her efforts. She also writes for The Huffington Post. Khadijah resides in Northern VA with her husband and daughter.
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