I am a white mom of white kids. Like a messy bun wearing, bake sale baking, jogging through suburbia with a double stroller to the local Starbucks, white mom. My name is Heidi for God’s sake. Have you ever heard a whiter name than Heidi? I’m really white.
If I wanted to I could completely ignore what’s happening in the world right now. My kids are too young for social media, we don’t watch the news in the front of them and COVID-19 has had us locked up in our home for so long that our bubble is nearly impenetrable. There’s no way my children could know the names George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner or Sandra Bland (and countless others) unless I told them.
That’s white privilege.
I have the privilege of protecting my babies from the horror of systemic racism and police brutality because of white supremacy.
White moms, we can’t do that anymore.
We can’t post cute posts of our white kids with their black friends on social media like we personally ended racism on the preschool playground, without also doing the work of examining our motivations.
We can’t praise our children’s “innate color-blindness” when their classmates of color don’t get the same luxury.
We have to teach our kids about systemic racism at home. We have to acknowledge our own racial prejudices and biases without fear. We have to demonstrate how we are actively fighting against white supremacy in our own lives. We need to educate ourselves without putting the burden on BPOC to teach us. We have to apologize when we get it wrong and then we have to do better. We need to get angry.
But most importantly, we need to do all of that in front of our kids.
Heidi is currently obsessed with watching people make bad decisions on TV, being a coastal elite, artificially avoiding any sign of aging, reading feminist romance novels, and getting the biggest laugh at her own expense. She has a husband, 3 kids, a dog and anxiety.