Dear White Mom:

BonbonBreak-Orig       Dear White Moms - a response to activities in Ferguson and beyond Dear White Mom:

I’m writing this to you as a friend, as a dear friend. We’ve shared so much over the years, before kids – blissfully ignorant childhoods, angsty teenage years, the discovery and recklessness and uncertainty of college and early adulthood, and now this. Motherhood. We’ve been there for each other all the time – through birth plans gone awry, breastfeeding, being so sleep deprived we don’t know if we’re wearing shoes, picky eaters, husbands who appear to be working against us, discipline, the mean moms at the playground, everything. I don’t know how I’d be here without you, and I hope you feel the same about me.

I love you, girl, you know I do.

But now I need something. My heart hurts so much I can barely stand. I don’t ask for much — you know I hate asking for anything, but now I need help, desperately, and so I’m going to put myself out there.

Michael Brown was recently shot. I know you know who that is. You’d have to have your head under a rock, and I don’t befriend women — people–like that. Another young black male, unarmed, shot dead by a policeman, or some white person who just thought he was in the wrong, simply because he had brown skin. The list is growing, weekly apparently, so much so that it seems like it’s open season on black men and boys.

Boys like the little guy I have at home.

He is almost 6, and I know you know exactly how much I adore that child. I could stare at him all day, and a cuddle from him is an injection of human sunshine. As crazy stressed out as he can make me, he is my heart and soul living outside my flesh. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for him, including take a bullet. Like you, I would do anything in my power for my little boy. Anything.

This taking a bullet thing is of course real, so very real, because in this nation, in 2014, after civil rights, even after the election of a president who looked just like my son as a boy, black men are seen as a threat. Dangerous. Guilty before proven innocent. Shoot them before they shoot you – because those people can hocus-pocus that phone, can of skittles, bottle of soda into a weapon faster than you can say “nigger.”

It kills me.

Right now my son is a little boy, like yours maybe, or maybe like the one you remember. He’s goofy and silly. He loves to do all those stereotypical “boy” things, please don’t bring up any gender issues – you know exactly what I’m talking about. Sometimes he likes to tussle, straddling the line between play and real. Sometimes he can’t control his temper. But right now he’s like a puppy to most people. He’s cute and non-threatening.

What happens when he’s grown up and not so cute and non-threatening? When he’s walking through the world alone? No more the floppy-eared, playful youngster — he’s now the feral stray dog, worthy of extermination.

Can you imagine that? Do you see it? You do. It hurts you too much to think about, my little guy, the one who’s grown up with your family meeting this end, seen in this subhuman light by the police, by the ignorant and cowardly and the wrongly scared shitless.

But this is what Michael Brown brings up for me when I hear that another black mother is grieving for her son, the son she’ll never tuck into bed again. The son she’ll never see grow into a strong, independent man with a family of his own. The son whose manly arms will never grab his mother in a hug and make her feel that now, he protects her.

Remember, I’m writing you as a dear friend, because I can’t believe you’re not on my side. After a lifetime together I won’t believe it. It’s why I love you. I know you’re on my side, with all those posts about how I don’t have to worry about “my blond haired blue eyed son” being shot by the police. I get it, you’re not boasting, just stating the sad facts, that you understand on the deepest level that your white privilege means your motherhood is different from mine.

I love you for this but it’s not enough. But can you do more?

I know you talk to your bigoted relatives. More.

Talk to your family about what their black and brown friends might experience that they don’t have to.

Teach your family to empathize with, and give the benefit of the doubt to, people whose world and experience is far outside their own.

Read about slavery and Jim Crow and the Civil Rights movement.

Talk about how racism isn’t history, it’s now.

Tell your children about how unbalanced it is — to put it mildly– that the news makes it seem as though only African-Americans commit crimes.

Speak up to the checker who asks for your black friend’s ID to take a check and not for yours.

Speak up to the boutique owner who follows black customers around, or better yet don’t shop there.

Speak up when the brown boys at school are disproportionately disciplined and then suspended.

Write a letter to the police chief demanding the firing of officers who kill unarmed black men.

Unarmed is unarmed.

And please, in your Facebook feed share something that shows this matters to you. Don’t say you don’t want to be political. Don’t tell me you don’t want to offend people. Because all that means is you don’t want to get into it with your clueless white friends.

It kills me when I see posts about kittens and new shoes and not one share about boys left to die in the street. Sure life goes on, but I saw how you reacted to the mass shootings. This is merely the other side of the coin.

This is what I need, dear friend. I need to know that you are not merely worried about this most tragic of worst case scenarios befalling my son; I need to know that you are out there changing the ethos that puts it in place. That you see this as something that unites us as mothers, friends and human beings.

My son needs me, as much as yours needs you. Sadly, my son needs me more. He needs someone to have his back, when it seems that the police, the men he’d wave to with excitement as a little boy, see him as a being worthy only of prison or death.

I need you, too, because I can’t do this alone.

Please share this message.

NOTE: Comments on this post have been closed. After receiving 1000 comments of various natures, it became impossible to monitor and the conversation became inhumane. PLEASE continue the conversation on your social media channels, in your homes and in your community.

Read more from Keesha

The Dance of Conflicting Truths by Moms New Stage jumping preggers 150x150ABOUT KEESHA: Before her two children re-choreographed her life, Keesha was a professional dancer who performed in the U.S. and in Europe. Today she teaches modern and jazz dance in the Chicago area. She is also the human cyclone behind the blog Mom’s New Stage. A multitasker at heart, she shows fierce skills at simultaneously writing, choreographing, checking Facebook and Pinterest updates, playing the role of a mother named Joan “Kumbaya” Crawford, and overcooking food. Keesha is one of the select contributing authors of In The Powder Room’s first anthology, You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth. Her writing has been featured on Mamapedia, The Huffington Post, and in the bestselling anthology I Just Want to Pee Alone. CONNECT WITH KEESHAAbout Us btn fbAbout Us btn twAbout Us btn pinAbout Us btn gplusAbout Us btn LI


 

READ THIS NEXT: Your Son Scares Me Too

 


 

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Dear Black Mom - a response to "Dear White Mom"

Dear Black Mom – a response to “Dear White Mom”

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This post was written by Keesha Beckford exclusively for Bonbon Break Media, LLC

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Comments

  1. says

    I talk to my sons about standing with their friends who are brown, about the inequality we wish was gone but know is not. I stand with Keesha Beckford to do anything I can to make the world safer for her little boy. And still, I know it's not enough. If you join me, it might be. Please show your inner beauty and share this!

  2. says

    I am in tears right now, having just had this conversation with a friend, saying, "am I doing enough", and, "I don't like getting into political fights on social media". Thank you for being the voice I needed to hear right now. There are no coincidences.

  3. says

    I talk to my kids about this. I point out differences that happen in real life and in the shows they watch. "Why do you think they don't have any black people on this show? Why is that character white? Why do you think they do that?" We talk about things like this because it is important and if you want things to change you have to call that ugly darkness out into the light of day. You have to point your finger at it and say, "You! You are wrong." I would much rather feel uncomfortable discussing this than feel the aching, soul-wrenching pain of this happening to someone I know in real life. Be the change.

  4. Debra Jones Kessler says

    Keesha, I hope you are raising your son like I am raising mine, to respect authority. Obviously, Michael Brown's parents did not do this or he strayed somehow. It is not acceptable to rob a store and punch a police officer. Do I think death is an acceptable punishment, no. The court system will determine if excessive force was used. The Brown family should stand up as leaders in their community and denounce the ridiculous violence.

  5. says

    This IS the reality for too many black and brown mothers. Keesha, I am so sorry you have to fear for your son in a way I never had to fear for mine. #whiteprivilege Yes, I will challenge the status quo, speaking up and posting, always.

  6. Suzanne Fluhr says

    I will be sharing your letter on my FB page and elsewhere. We raised our sons in the near in Philadelphia suburbs—good schools and all that. While hardly well integrated (unlike the Philly neighborhood where I was born and raised), about 9% of our sons' high school students are African American. They had African American friends—kids they hung out with outside of school. They had their eyes opened. They noticed a definite uptick in what they considered "hassling" by the local police when they were with a black friend. They pointed out that in most of the township traffic stops we saw, the driver was — black. Parenting teens of any race or ethnicity is fraught with worry. Parenting an African American teenager must cause excruciating worry. I am heartened to see that there are young white people marching in solidarity with the African American residents of Ferguson, MO, but the task of educating white folks about what it's like to actually be black in the United States (no matter how wealthy or how accomplished) is on us—first to educate ourselves and then to educate our friends and relatives.

  7. says

    Both the robbing of the store, and the punching of the police officer have been debunked by both statements by eyewitnesses (including the store owner) and the autopsy. The officer's injuries were also falsified by "news sources." And even if he had done those things, he was shot 6 times from a distance. Please don't victim blame. This is a tragedy and a boy is dead.

  8. Lisa Gradess-Weinstein says

    Keesha, my heart breaks for you and I will share your post. I often think that if I had lived in Europe in the early 1940s, my beautiful 17-year old daughter would have been slaughtered, right before my eyes, for the mere crime of being Jewish. I look at her every day and think how lucky I am to live in a country where she will not be thrown into a concentration camp because of her religion….but seeing what happens to unarmed black men, we still have a ways to go. Sending love to you – and your son is precious. I have no doubt that he will grow up with your passion and spirit and love deeply instilled in him.

  9. says

    Keesha – this 75 yr old whitish grandma will be pushing back against police brutality tonight as we march to the Justice [sic] Center in Clayton. But please be aware that another Michael Brown, white & 23, was senselessly shot by police in rural Missouri not too long ago for not getting out of his truck fast enough. Let's protect all our children – white, black, brown, and blue.

  10. says

    Yes, I will try to understand, my white privilege is NOT something I take for granted – but I know I never have had to fear for either of my sons as you are experiencing. I WILL CONTINUE to speak about this issue, and, like my sister, challenge the status quo.

  11. says

    Beautifully said, Keesha Beckford. As I watch my son grow up, one worry I don't have is that he'll be profiled, seen as threatening as he becomes a man. White privilege feels complicated sometimes. But some things are simple – no unarmed person should ever be shot dead by our police. Racism is alive and well in this country, and it's our job as parents, regardless of the color of our skin, to make the upcoming generation more tolerant, more aware, and more compassionate.

  12. Lux S. Zilla says

    All you moms out there just remember hate is taught. We're not born with it. Teach your kids to be bigger And better. It starts at home with each one of us moms teaching our children to have empathy and compassion and that there is no place for hate

  13. Alison Lee says

    I truly hate that mothers like you, Keesha, have to deal with this very real situation. It should NOT be something we need to think about just because of the color of one's skin. I truly hope that people's eyes will be opened, and that change can come in our lifetime. Thank you for putting your truth out there.

  14. Polly Elledge says

    I have spent 28 years teaching high school; mostly at-risk students and mostly seniors and mostly in multi-racial schools. My students have taught me so much about exactly this topic–things that I, a lily-white woman, cannot believe even though I know they're true. I KNOW I live in a different world, even in the same town. I HATE that this is true. I will share this with my students and on FB. And a little prayer for your son to be able to grow up in a changed world. God bless you, Keesha.

  15. Cynthia Burgess says

    I am not a mother, but I try to learn about, stop, prevent, and educate others on prejudice and discrimination on all levels. I hope people like you who are facing these attrocities in your daily life will continue to speak out so that i may take that information and share it with others. You are right. I am priviliged to be white. I am grateful to people like you, from any culture, religion, SES, race, and so forth, who help me to understand, appreciate, and spread the word, heart, and soul of these horrendous facts.

  16. Victoria Joy Turner says

    I hope you bring your son up not to rob stores or act like a hoodlum. Bring him up with respect for authority and for the human race. When children are brought up with good values there is less of a chance they will be in trouble with the law. I wish you and your son all the best of what life has to offer. The boy who was shot on the other hand, not so much. sorry for his parents loss and they shouldn't have to lose a son, ever. But if my son robbed a store and fought with police like he did, I would be extremely ashamed. God Bless you and your family.

  17. Victoria Joy Turner says

    I agree Debra Jones Kessler. The boy who was shot was a hoodlum. He had no respect for others and therefore got himself in trouble. should he have been shot? I have no idea, but if I was the officer he was harassing, I might have, and If I was the store owner, I should have. Now he is in Gods Hands.

  18. Victoria Joy Turner says

    Breann Louise Hall – Debunked? I don't think so:
    Missouri cop was badly beaten before shooting Michael Brown, says source

  19. says

    When my pasty boy was about 8 (now 11) his dearest friend was brown. He's still his dearest friend, but they are in different schools. We watched a show on our local public about folks that took a bus to tour Civil Rights spots in the south (we are outside Pittsburgh). He couldn't understand it, I had to tell him: In the olden days, brown people couldn't vote. And the look on his face made me weep. I hated having to share that ugliness, that sad truth with him. I agree with Aimee that social media's not the place. Little change happens there, I think. But education starts at home, and that I am trying to do. Sharing, too, as Deborah suggests. Women got the right to vote because one mom swayed her politico son to cast the deciding vote on the side of women. Mothers can and do change the world. I think a large part of this task can be done. By us. Thanks for sharing this, I Got a Dumpster Family! It's important.

  20. Jody David Leuck says

    I'm sorry but I am offended by the beginning salutation, Dear White Moms. I am a white mom but my children's father is Filipino. Most people think my kids look Mexican. I have endured the same fears as you. My oldest son worked at a restaurant during High School and College. It never failed that he would get stopped after work for "suspicious driving". He was in the top 10% of his high school class and graduated with honors from college. But yet he would repeatedly be harassed by the police. So yes I do understand your feelings. I as a white mom have gone and still go through it. This isn't about just being black. It's about NOT being white or not being the "right" white… Such as a white transgender, homosexual , or just looking what most see as "Different".

  21. Sarah Marlowe says

    This man was a criminal and has a long criminal record! I am sad that he didn't do Bette in his life and make better choices, however, how come every time a black man is killed that it becomes a national outcry! Let's me honest with ourselves here- the media plays the race card and well ignorance follows. Let's do some research on black on white crime here. http://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2013/08/16/censored-news-black-woman-kills-12-y-o-white-boy-with-blow-torch/
    Where is the outrage for this child!? It's not about black or white, let's talk about humanity!!! Oh and if I wrote a letter headed dear black mom I would be ripped apart! Maybe it's time to look at who the real racist are here.

  22. Deirdre Hession Cerasa says

    Thank you for this. Even though I don't live in your neighborhood, I promise I have your back. I will share and talk.

  23. Susan Chappelear says

    Really the only thing any of us can do is teach our kids to not see color. But to see the person underneath the color. Good kids are good kids. Bad ones are bad. No matter the color. Teach our children to be respectful of the people around them and to care for the people who need it. Regardless of color.

  24. Elaine Lombardi says

    Mindy Kincade The footage from a different in-store camera shown Brown paying for the cigarillos. there was a conversation between him and the shopkeeper and the shopkeeper came out from behind the counter first and because aggressive with Brown.

    So many of my students could be Michael Brown.

  25. Amanda Guyton says

    As my son's world falls apart around him, the racial rifts in our community raising their horrible heads, we have been talking more and more about how racism hurts everyone, hurts whole communities, teaches hate on both sides. How wrong it is, and yet how real, as kids my son has been a good friend to, supported, and cheered on through challenges since kindergarden are suddenly turning on him. It is hard for him to understand that they are being taught to survive, that because so many in our community are being taught these children are less because of their skin, they are being taught fear and hate of him because of his- and they are acting accordingly. It is hard for him to understand he has to keep fighting for them, keep being a friend to them anyway, if anything is going to change- because he is white, he has privilege here, and it becomes his responsibility to do what is right, no matter what. Responding to fear and hate with fear and hate creates a vicious cycle, and he must stand against it, be a point that doesn't turn into the endless spiral into the abyss. Friends don't let friends be racists.

  26. Kara Johnson says

    the cops in LA recently shot two white males, killing one. Bpth were innocent and actually fleeing from a hostage situation. The police assumed one might be the knife welding man they were looking for. In my hometown of orlando an officer shot a drunk man who reached for an unloaded gun in the middle of a busy downtown 9 times. The cop killed a girl in a club close by because of their reckless shooting. She was INSIDE the club. I lived in the same area of the travon martin case and I'm sick of hearing about the "white guy." He was mexican until it became a national story. This isn't about a white person shooting someone. Its about cops overreactions. It should be about the abuse and overbearing authority given to cops that would land ordinary citizens in jail. I come from a mixed family and i grew up with people of every race. I'm actually white, but grew up dealing with racism because people always think I'm asian or hispanic. I got used to being called a chink and a spic and have people spit at me. I also dated black guys so i felt the wrath of black women who found out i was white and hated me for it. Racism is never solved by amplifying race. It creates hypersensitive people who think a little white girl like me doesn't understand what its like to be called horrible names, to be spit at, screamed at "DO YOU UNDERSTAND ENGLISH GIRL?"(surprisingly it was mostly by black women) For people to always assume the worst. You couldn't have written that paper you can't be that smart….. I thank God for my black friends because they know better than to freak out when someone says something negative to them or us. They dont dwell on it they dont become paranoid every time a white person crosses the street it was because they are racist. And they ignore all the black people who yell at them for selling out being with a non black girl. Lord will we hear it if they figure out I'm not a chink, but cracker. Then I'm going the be yelled at for things that happened well before my family showed up to this country. Racism is the believe that a racial group is superior based on their ethnicity or in the case of the US their skin color. Its not isolated to "white people" whatever the hell that is. Ive met more blacks who are racist towards whites and hispanics racist towards blacks than I've ever met the poster kkk member for what we look at as racism. Obviously those guys exist and if i see a street lined with rebel flags like hell I'm walking down and hope they dont take me for a mexican lol, but racism is never solved by propping up every case where a sort of white person hurts a black guy. It creates angry people. Black people tearing down their brothers and sister for interracial marriages and "acting white", white people who think if i disagree and say something I'm racist, hispanics and asians who get away will hating people groups because they aren't white. It also fuels all those white racist rednecks, "see how all the animals get huffy over a boy dying when they are out their kiling each other. " If we stop talking about race, we ignore it. Refuse to put it on forms, pay attention to it. It stops mattering. I grew up in a world where it didn't exist. It weird, unnatural to look at someone and think they way they look says anything about them. I grew up with african zulu music and eating kimchi. Ethnicity meant culture. Not skin color. Im glad i did because it helps me see how racist our society is. Not because of the white people oppressing the minorities, but because we look at race in everything. We measure it, quantify it constantly obsess with race. Every form has it and its meaningless. It says nothing about our cultures or our people. It doesn't say a word about history but what you look like. "The only advantage a white man has in America is the fact no one ever told him your oppressed." (speaking to sexism and racism)

  27. Michael P. Murray says

    Way back in high school, a classmate told me about when he was walking in front of a store when the alarm went off. He took off running. I was puzzled. Why would he run when he didn't do anything.
    He told me, "When you're black and an alarm goes off, you get out of there quick."
    I can understand. I can empathize, But, I can't really relate to living like that no matter how much I try.

  28. Natalia Potter says

    My baby is mixed and all her friend are too if not mixed then full black and if anything happened would tear my heart out… Love them all watched them grow from headstart to graduations….

  29. Linda Kohler says

    Elaine Lombardi, Dorrian Johnson has stated that he was with Michael and they did rob the market. Then Michael crushed the eye socket of the officer while trying to get his gun away from him. This was not about race. It was about criminal activity.

  30. Victoria Joy Turner says

    where is that video Elaine Lombardi? I haven't seen a video of him paying.. can you please post it so we can see it or tell us what link to look it up under. Thank you

  31. Janna Nelson says

    Chris Ernest Pull your head out. Don't try to pretend that being white is not easier. We can't even begin to comprehend the challenges that people of color have to deal with on a daily basis from people that are ignorant or racist.

  32. Chris Ernest says

    Janna Nelson Pull my head out??? Do you know me?? Do you know that I come from one of the most racially diverse cities on the planet??? NO??? So, let's not start acting like it's a privilege to be white all the time cause white people also deal with racism!!!! Being a white kid that grew up on food stamps and had free lunch….pretty sure I know what I'm talking about!!!!! Bellingham?? Really?? Like Seattle?? HELL….it's all White up there!!!! TRUST ME, I KNOW!!! EVER HEAR OF FERNDALE, WA????? Big black town up there in WA!!!!

  33. Chris Ernest says

    Jane Tripp ……oh sorry Jane!!!!!! I wasn't one of the white people that was born with a silver spoon in my mouth!!!!! I'll go back to working 80 hours a week and hustling!!!!!

  34. Chris Ernest says

    and by the way, this is not a knock on Keesha's letter. What is happening to African American Males in the public eye is absolutely awful. Cops killing young black men, black men killing other black men, whites over blacks, etc. It's a vicious cycle. My point in disputing Bobbie's original post is that not all white people are the same and same goes for black people, asian, brown, etc. I feel like the whole "privilege comment is ignorant". I was not a privileged white kid growing up on food stamps!!!!

  35. Chris Ernest says

    Janna Nelson I feel sorry for you. I really do. You have no concept when it comes to the struggles of black and white americans. God Bless and good luck on your next trail run!!!!

  36. Mary Alward says

    I stand with Mike Brown and a lot of the young kids that are getting shot by cops, both Black and White. Color means nothing to me. The police could have tazered Mike or simply shot him in the leg so he couldn't walk. That cop was scared and just shot without thinking. Cops need to be trained to deal with people of all color, race, religion and also those with autism spectrum disorder and mental illness. We have had a few kids shot here because they were, not Black, but ill with bipolar disorder and austism spectrum disorders. This is wrong!!!

  37. Chris Ernest says

    I guess the question is….what is it that you are doing???? Are you holding the door open for a black person, are you letting them into traffic the same amount of times that you would allow a white person???? What exactly are you doing?

  38. Alyss Broderick says

    Chris Ernest Class privilege is not race privilege. I'm sorry that you had to face poverty and racial profiling (yes, that happens to white people in majority brown neighborhoods) but you were born with white privilege. If you haven't read Peggy McIntosh's essay "Unpacking White Privilege" you should. Or check this one out. Written by a white woman who grew up very poor she understands how class effects even white people. Having white privilege doesn't mean you didn't struggle, or that your life was easy, or that you are privileged in all ways (having white privilege does not mean you have class privilege, gender privilege, privilege of being cis gendered, straight, able bodied, etc)…. but it does mean have racial privilege. Life is really hard for lots of poor people of all colors, but being poor and black is harder because it means having both race and class disadvantage. Anyway, check this one out, I think you'll see yourself and your life validated here. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gina-crosleycorcoran/explaining-white-privilege-to-a-broke-white-person_b_5269255.html

  39. Chris Ernest says

    When you start off a cool and collected piece on a blog 'To all the white mom's……." How the heck is this not construed as racism? I absolutely love the piece, but find that in dealing with racism and hate, it's better to say things like……"To All Those Young Mom's Out There", as opposed to "To All Those White Women Out There". YA HEARING ME KEESHA?? I was just robbed (no bullshit) by a young group of african americans and yes they were caught on tape and guess what…….I NEVER USED THEIR SKIN COLOR AS AN EXCUSE!!!!!!!

  40. Chris Ernest says

    Alyss Broderick Hey Alyss…….where did you grow up? I honestly don't care what an article says from some harvard league professor……let it come from someone that is real and then we'll chat

  41. Alyss Broderick says

    Chris Ernest That article i linked to is written by a woman who was born white and grew up very poor. I don't claim to have experienced real poverty. But I know that race and class are not the same thing so a person can be privileged in one and disadvantaged in the other – and the results look similar (and are similarly heartbreaking, painful, and personally tragic), though they are not the same. Racism and classism are cultural structures. It's not about you and your life (or me and my rather privileged life)… it's about how groups of people are sorted, judged and treated based on external characteristics. Read the article and let me know if it sounds like your life experience.

  42. Chris Ernest says

    Alyss Broderick If you don't claim to experience really poverty but feel it through in article, than we have no business arguing.

  43. Chris Stark says

    Keesha, you have already virtually eliminated the possibility of something tragic like this happening to your kids by raising them in a home with a mother AND a father. These problems won't go away by treating the symptoms or the results. Something needs to be done about the cause – the absolute destruction of the family in the black community. To say that Michael Brown was killed because he was black is to say that a cancer patient who smoked 5 packs a day died of pneumonia simply because that was the cause of death on the medical examiner's chart. Racism DOES exist and terrible things DO happen to black people simply because they are black. And that should be unacceptable to all of us. But Michael Brown was a criminal. And if you want to talk about the systemic problems that exist in America that made him more likely to BE a criminal than white people his same age, fine. Let's talk about them. Saying Michael Brown was shot because he was black is not only untrue, it cheapens and simplifies the real reasons that these things happen. It dumbs down the history and makes it presentable for the average person who just wants something to get enraged about. You are obviously smarter than this. You obviously know there is more to this than simply saying "Michael Brown was killed because he was black."

  44. says

    I am praying for our nation to follow God. God desires us to walk in love and to love others regardless of differences We are all His creation and He loves each of us unconditionally. May God bless you and keep you and our children under the shadow of His wing.

  45. Rebecca Schoedler says

    Wow…. To me this was full of racism. I did not choose to born a white person but this article almost seems like it's trying to guilty me for bring white. I think if you raise your kids right black or white and they stay out of trouble then you won't have to worry!

  46. says

    I stand as a white mother who adopted two black little boys who are now men. Black men who struggle with the injustice and have been on the wrong end of the "justice" system. I stand with you.

  47. says

    No disrespect but the facts werent fully in and most people rushed to judgement. If the new facts are true, he stole and assulted a man in a convience store and allegedly beat a police officer and went for his gun. Would you feel ANY different. Nobody should be gunned down for NO reason, especially by the police. What about ALL the male black on black murders especially in Chicago. I work with alot of people from JAMACIA, BABADOS, ANTIGUA, all early 50's they cant understand why alot of black male americans cant make away for themselves only excuses. Most of my friends came to the states with next to nothing. We talk about childhood most of there stories invole a story on how GREAT their Mom is and how strict their "DAD" was. Bill Cosby even says majority of sucessfull male Blacks have a Father growing up. I believe in any 2 parent households. Black peopke also need better mouthpieces other than Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson.

  48. says

    Now this happens in America. But the racism goes both ways.
    White at black, black at white. In one place it's white against black, then move 2 miles away from that place and it's reversed.
    So it's a culture thing in the area, deep seated things from the past.
    When we as human beings learn to get over our selves, and get on with living our lives as decent law abiding citizens (mind you I didn't say follow everything like blind sheep) and forget that there is this race THING, I am afraid to say, none of these worries you are expressing are going to go away.
    This is due to the way we (as society) have been brought up by our parents and our peer's.

    In South Africa we are in the same boat, Black's (people of colour) killing White's, and in the same breath, White's killing Black's.
    But here the media attention given to it is negligible, I wish our media would grow a pair of balls and report the truth about all in our country, as is done in America.

  49. Joshua Ginn says

    Teach your kids to Obey the law and to respect authority and bad things wont happen to them. I guarantee if Mr. Brown would have paid for those cigars then he would have not been at the time and place of the interaction between himself and the officer. Dear Black mom, raise your kids right….

  50. says

    I couldn't even finish it, the president is the one who makes this into a circus! Why are we regressing? This isn't about race, had he been wire and charging and officer the outcome would have been the same. When he shot him once and he kept charging, something is wrong. Why are we excusing what Michael had done? I don't tolerate racism, and this IS a racist thing. I teach my child 1) don't be in the wrong side of the law 2) if ever you find yourself in a situation, comply and we will get everything straightened out, but cos ARE trained to save THEIR own lives and ours as well.

  51. Rebecca Miller says

    As an elementary school teacher, I'd like to believe that I treat all students, despite their skin color or ethnicity or religion or gender or anything else, the same. I'd like to believe that as those same little "puppies" grow up, I continue to show equal respect. I am taking inventory of myself today. I am asking myself, starting with me, to truly gage my own reactions when I see a young man approaching me in a dark parking lot, when I drive past a car full of loud music and squealing tires, when I look at my own son, on the verge of manhood himself, and discover if I worry even half as much as the mother of young black man. I can't pretend I know what it must be like to live with that inequality, that fear, that disproportionate burden. But I hope and pray I'm teaching and modeling for my own children and those in my classroom that we are all family on this planet, and that I can strive every day to truly live up to that. My heart absolutely breaks for the mothers out there who must deal with this, live with this, or worse, suffer this kind of a loss.

  52. Theresa Jubier says

    Chris Ernest – I HAVE experienced poverty. I was born, and raised, on welfare with a single mother and a brother. We got our clothes from churches and we lived in project-housing while my mother struggled through her full-time job and full-time college schedule. My brother and I would share a can of chicken noodle soup as breakfast because that's what came in the box of donated food. I KNOW poverty. For a few years in my early teens, we lived in a predominately black neighborhood and yes, my brother and I faced massive racism towards us. We found ourselves in a lot of fights and we were punished for being white. But only in that neighborhood. And only by the children. I'm telling you this because you seem to think that our circumstances somehow prove that there isn't a "white privilege," and you're wrong. You're VERY wrong. Although I was poor and singled out for my poverty – and although I was singled out for being a white redhead in a black neighborhood – I can tell you that I received privileges that many black teenagers don't receive. You can bet, as a white young woman, I was rarely harassed by the police and if I was, I was quickly dismissed as a threat. There is a stigma about race that is both disgusting and everywhere. Jobs are harder to get. Trust is harder to get. For every suffering we had, Chris, we still didn't have to work AS hard to gain the trust, respect, and dignity that should have been equally offered to people of color. Don't speak for ALL of us, who are white and came from poverty. And stop believing that your experience somehow NEGATES the overall reality, which is racism still exists. Where it was once loud, however, it now simmers beneath the skin of people pretending not to have it. Which, I think, makes it even more dangerous…

  53. Lauren Kuhbander Thomas says

    When my oldest was about five, we played a game of "Guess who?" He was down to the last two cards. One was a white boy. One was a black boy. All the other features were the same. He stared and stared at it and then said, "Mom, I can't see any differences between these two". I wanted to high five myself that we had truly raised a boy that just knew what a kid looked like and didn't need to differentiate based on skin color.

  54. Kirk Hoddinott says

    Wow. So much here, between the article and the comments….let me just ask a few questions- first off, white privilege? If you really believe that nowadays then you need to pay more attention. Also why are things like this so focused on the color? Is it less tragic when a white kid gets shot? Or any other color for that matter? Its a kid. Then there is the whole "my white friend". If this person is so close to you, they probably live close to you. So you really think that white kid is going to grow up different than your kid? Why? Lastly, you question if white people stand up to racist white people. Do you stand up to racist minorities? If not, then you are part of the problem. Racism is racism. And those who think you cannot be racist if you are a minority are exactly why this is still an issue.

  55. Tannia Horodeczny says

    Please remove the italicized introduction to this amazingly powerful letter. When I post this on facebook, this is what shows up in the description: "We have been wanting to share a post on BonBon Break that addresses ". I think more people would click on it if her actual letter was in the description instead, and I REALLY want everyone to read this!!!

  56. Shawn Kuhn says

    I know I must be terminally white but I taught my white son and daughters to respect and obey the cops. I must had been "threatened" by a white cop years ago and told to back away when a senior citizen falsely accused me. I respected the cop, SHUT UP and walked away, even though I was in the right. 10 minutes later I respectfully approached the cop and explained my side of the story, something he should of gotten from me the first time. This time he listen and actual followed through on my side of the story.
    Had I stood on my "rights" I would have been right in a jail cell.
    I don't know if the cops in Ferguson are right or wrong. Time will tell. As a parent, white or black, I would teach my kids to respect the cops and obey the law and when wrong don't resist. Oh by the way, I am one of those stupid people that thanks a cop for doing his job when I get a traffic ticket.

  57. says

    We talk and talk this … as a Mom of an adopted African American child I fear the time when what is in her heart will not matter as much as the color of her skin. And it shames me that I am grateful that she is a girl when I watch the news and read the stories because I know she is less at risk. Times must change, and everyone needs to raise their voices – I grew up in Africa, in apartheid – and now living in America, the anger and bigotry, the racism and inequality of this country shakes me to my core – for a country supposedly so enlightened. Thank you for this post, I am your friend Keesha Beckford xxxx

  58. Darby Penney says

    That is total b.s. Joshua Ginn, and you know it. Young people of color are arrested for stuff like "walking while black" all the time. Don't change the subject.

  59. Frank Halstead says

    Very powerful piece…Maybe 1 day we'll fix the race issue in this country…Maybe 1 day we'll get to a point were 48% of black males will feel the need to graduate from high school and be afforded every opportunity to do so, in schools that are worth going to….Maybe 1 day we can get African American men that father children to see the importance of staying in the homes with those children or at the very least involved in their lives on a daily basis (72% of all African American births are out of wedlock with absentee fathers). See there are a lot of GREAT women holding it down in single family homes but I know for a fact as great as they are NO WOMAN can teach a BOY what it takes to become a MAN. It takes a MAN to do that. We got big time societal issues. In GENERAL we have lost our moral compass as a nation. We don't care about anyone but ourselves. We look the other way all too often when people chaet the system or each other. This problem addressed in this message is a HUGE problem but for me all of this is related. Until we can fix a system that makes if more benficial to stay apart rather than together, that holds EVERYONE accountable for being responsible citizens then we are doomed. Being someone who was brutally beat within an INCH of my life as a youngster because of my race I get it…Believe me I do. But I am also smart enough to know that I have been afforded a lot of opportunities based on my white skin. Sure, I worked my ass off to get to where I am but being WHITE sure didn't hurt none. Praying daily for people to understand the big picture. Frustrated that they don't :(

  60. David Justin says

    Keesha – I feel you mean well but you have your facts all wrong. Michael Brown physically assaulted that police officer beating him severely to the point of knocking out his eye socket. And why – because the officer told him to get out of the center of the road and not block traffic. Before that he robbed a store, granted that does not rise to the level of shooting him but did you see the way he handled the owner? This is no mild manner guy out for an enjoyable evening. It seems to me you are jumping to conclusions. Check the facts, check the statistics, check what's happening in certain parts of Chicago. God bless you and don't worry about your son, if he's not a thug he will be safe from the police.

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