Momma, Mom, Mommy, Mother, Mama…no matter how you say it or spell it, we have each other’s backs and one another’s children’s backs.
Thank you to all who have reached out to check on my safety as my hometown is (as are many of yours) under attack by extremists who want to start a civil war. They are hijacking the protests about another murder of another black man. This morning, I can barely move, everything hurts. And, thankfully we stayed safe last night. We don’t know what will happen when the freeways open up and the national guard leaves…But today this is not about those evil forces who want to destroy our country.
Each week in my online support group seeing moms from across the country holding space for one another’s pain, accompanying one another on the otherwise isolating journey. These mommas are there with big open hearts to listen, comfort, offer hope, resources, wisdom without judgment. These are moms who are themselves in the trenches of trying to save their own child’s life from a deadly eating disorder…and there they are shining light and hope for others. And they’re not silverlining…when things are superbad (while a child has an eating disorder, things are often bad), they will validate what the other is living and not minimize the situation by saying something good will come from this.
This past Wednesday we shared tools to get off and stay off of the proverbial “rollercoaster” of emotions that is always present—tempting us to jump on.
As this horrific week of terror in Minnesota and our whole country continued on in the wake of the murder of yet another black human for being black and we all tried to make sense of the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer, these tools were needed just to be able to function and keep breathing.
Many tears, honoring the grief, losses and pain of people of color who keep having their children murdered for being in skin that isn’t white left me searching for answers. Some answers showed up in this powerful piece from a black mama begging white mamas to step up and have the backs of black children.
So many people (mostly white women) have said to me, “What can I do?” And Christy Oglesby, a senior producer at CNN, tells us in her opinion piece, ‘I need white mamas to come running’ straight up what we need to do.
You can read the entire article here and I want to share with you the paragraphs in which she lays out specifically what she needs and how we can use our white privilege (we will not be shot for the color of our skin – that is privilege).
“…But I’m tired. I’m tired of being scared for him. I’m tired of reading about Ahmaud, Travis, George and so many others. The list never stops. I need the white mamas to share this burden. I need my white friends to love me and mine enough to come running, too.
I need them to hear that cry and to tell their sons and daughters that my child is a human. I need them to declare and believe that he’s in danger, that I can’t protect him by myself and that his life matters to me and to them. I need them to tell their white friends’ children, too. My child’s life is sacred. My child is not dangerous.”
We can and need to use our voices and white privilege to accompany the exhausted mamas. Christy begs us to see her child as human and not dangerous. Not asking a whole lot is it? If you’re feeling hopeless and helpless, know that your voice matters and is needed. Another mama needs your voice. As white mamas we can use our voices to help black mamas stop having to bury their babies. Here are some ways that we can help, it is a huge list. I believe that if every single white person does one thing, just one thing on this list – we might just be able to stop the long history of black mamas burying their children who’ve been murdered for not being white.
Together we are stronger than apart.