Home > reflections on race > What do they tell the children? | The Angry Black Woman

What do they tell the children? | The Angry Black Woman

But I found myself wondering, today, what Barack and Michelle Obama have told their children about this.

So what, I wonder, does the first couple tell Sasha and Malia? Do they try and prepare their daughters for the possibility that their father will be assassinated because of his race? Have they warned the girls that they’ll probably never be able to leave Secret Service or bodyguard protection, at any point in their lives? Do they keep the girls off the internet, for fear they’ll find out that Dad is getting 30 death threats a day? Or when they talk with the girls about it — how the hell do you talk to a child about something like that, without traumatizing them for life? How do you keep children, when they’re immersed in so much hatred and fear, from growing up hateful and fearful themselves?

Because parents of black children have to do that. If they have any sense of responsibility, they prepare their children for the racism they’ll inevitably face. I don’t have kids, but I certainly remember my parents and grandparents carefully pointing out incidents and disparities and stereotypes, and talking with me about them. I remember my mother instructing me about how to act with the police — as a woman I’m not in quite as much danger from them as a black man would be, but I’m not safe either. Yet even with this advance preparation, I remember being shocked as I grew older and realized that racism had not ended with the Civil Rights Act, as I had been taught in school. It was still happening, still killing — still a near-daily threat to my personal health and welfare. My parents had done what they could to cushion this shock, but it was still painful, even terrifying, when I finally understood it as more than an intellectual exercise.

 

via What do they tell the children? | The Angry Black Woman.

via What do they tell the children? | The Angry Black Woman.

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