rant: social injustice and systemic racism ring in my ear when you say “I just want what’s best for my kid”

 

“Well, I just want what’s best for my kid, ya know? The American dream.”

Yes, I do know.
We all want that.
We all want what’s best for our kid.

But don’t confuse it by “the american dream”. I don’t want that.
I want the unwritten rule that applies to white kids to apply to people of color. 

Ya know, the “everything is possible when you put your mind to it”, rule?
That unwritten rule that says how “this is the land of opportunity for all of us?” 
I want that. I want that to apply to the kids of color. 

“I just want what’s best for my kid…” 
As parents we often hear ourselves saying that phrase. 
But,  what about the other kids? 
Who wants what’s best for the other kids?
The underserved kids. 

“I just want what’s best for my kid…” 
I don’t often hear people of color say that phrase as a command or as if it was a choice.
Often, that phrase is formulated more like a form of protection.
Safety and equality and free from racial or social economic slurs. 

“I just want what’s best for my kid.”
Yes. You should.
Yes, I should.
We all should. 
We all want what’s best for our kids.
And wanting the best for other kids is just as important to shape a balanced society.
To be considered a good citizen, all children are worthy of your consideration.
When you have a family, you want to give them the best. 
You want to protect and support your own. 
Of course you do!

You shouldn’t only be a responsible parent. 
Be a responsible citizen. 
Socially speaking, you should be structuring your household like that. 
Like a good citizen of your home. 
Then, you move on to being a good citizen of your neighborhood.
A good citizen of your city.
A good citizen of your state.
The country.
The world.

But that’s not “the american dream!”  No.

Shouldn’t our ultimate goal be to bring up our kids with the idea that all kids deserve the good stuff and to have an equal chance of getting the good stuff?

BUT know this: we are not treated equal. Yet.
All kids don’t start at the same starting line.
KNOW THIS!
Other kids have been sent to the back. Have been left in the back. 
BUT, they deserve to have an equal chance at the good stuff. 
KNOW THIS! 
UNDERSTAND THIS.
Accept this truth.
Change it.

Let those kids have an equal chance to get to the good stuff. 
You know those kids, right?
The brown and black kids.
KNOW THIS. ACCEPT THIS.

Those kids don’t start at the same starting line as your kids. 
Your white kids start first.
UNDERSTAND THIS.
Accept this, now so that you can change it. 

In our everyday lives we have to understand that we have control over some things,  and other things are out of our control. 
Systemic racism is a thing we can change and control.
Eventually we can also take control over social injustice.
Eventually the black and brown kids will get to start at the starting line.
Eventually the black and brown kids will be served and protected.

So, yes,
We all want what’s best for our kid.
The color of your skin shouldn’t determine where you start.
But it does. 
Your kids’ whiteness is invisible. We never speak of it.
We just know that it help you start at the starting line.
And nobody fights it or even questions it.
It’s a privilege. It’s the unwritten rule.

Your kids get to hike. To run. To live. 
Unquestioned. Un-judged.
Privileged. 

The other kids, they have been erased. 
Taken from history books that white people have written.
And, yet those kids are so damn visible.
Oh, so prominent that you fear them.
You avoid them.
You dismiss them.
You find them guilty. Undeserving of the good stuff.
Yet, you don’t know why.
You don’t even know them.
Our system has made you disdainful toward them.

So, like most parents, yes, I just want what’s best for my kid.
We want the good stuff. 

So, I will fight.
I will fight until my kid and their kids get a chance at the good stuff without having to fight so hard for it all the time.
I hope I won’t have to fight so long that I’ll die exhausted and in grief. 

But, no, we don’t want “the american dream.”

I want my kids at the front of the starting line. With your kids.
I want an equal shot at the good stuff for my kid
I want black and brown families to get a fair shot to live a decent life.
It’s not much to ask.