Dear Mothers of Future Michael Browns,
This issue supersedes color and class. No matter what color you are I am writing you in plea to save the future of the Y chromosome. You are taking part in raising a generation of men of all colors who disrespect you, themselves, each other and future mothers. Most of these selfish acts lead to unnecessary deaths and the extinction of groups of our global population. Before you get on TV and the internet, or sue law enforcement, or sit in therapy, or buy thousands of dollars in "band-aid" resolutions, I ask you to think on a couple things...
If your son has no job but rules as a king in your home- something is wrong. If your son's teachers tell you he misbehaves in class and you yell back in harsh resistance- something is wrong. If you ignore all his disobedient cries for training- something is wrong. If your son is a stranger to you- something is wrong. If you don't feed his mind, body and spirit but pay thousands to medicate him- something is wrong. If he knows nannies, grandparents, aunts and others as mother before you- something is wrong. If he has no outlets during puberty- something is wrong. If your son has shitty no good friends but he is "the best one"- something is wrong. This issue supersedes color and class.
We cannot live for your cries for help when it is too late to act. We cannot uplift your son's physically, emotionally or spiritually dead body after you send him down the river toward a life of selfish destruction. We cannot march on the backs of his and others, if the sacrifice is faulty. This issue supersedes color and class.
You are the first line of defense. Ask yourself if you've done all you could to save him and guide him? Have you spiritually grounded him? Psychologically molded him? Mentally nourished him? Emotionally cultivated him? If you cannot say this, then you cannot ask us for our tears and prayers, candles and crosses. We cannot waste our time with work you did not do on the front end.
This issue supersedes color and class. Beyond all the external distractions and challenges of life, motherhood is a sacrifice. And if your road is a solitude of fathers unavailable on all levels, that sacrifice of motherhood is deeper. We cannot throw blankets of our disappointed failed love on our children. It's not their fault they're here.
So my two hands go up, as an offering. Begging you to raise a man with dignity and asking for help before it's too late. My two arms go up not surrendering but uplifting the potential future partners of my daughters. My hands go up waving to find the island of loving parenthood. My hands go up as a beacon, no an oath to "practice what you preach" doctrine. None of us are perfect and our children may not become the people we intended. But if we give them high standards they may fall within a range we can accept.
Mother to Potential Future Mothers of Future Michael Browns
*Police brutality is real. Oppression is real. Systematic oppression is real. I'm not budging on that, BUT, each of us has a responsibility to teach our children about these topics and to teach them about their part in either perpetuating or preventing these systems in our society. As we acknowledge these truths, we must also acknowledge that we cannot live our lives oblivious to their existence. We have a responsibility to be good citizens to others as we work to dismantle the systems that take lives.
Lastly, men should treat women with respect. Period. Men should be held accountable for their part in cycles of gendered oppression and gendered violence. Mothers and fathers can't just have their sons out here disrespecting themselves and others. Maybe I'm old school but I stand by that.
These two statements aren't mutually exclusive.
I'm a former teacher and former college athlete, currently working to make life more equitable for all people. My mission is to get parents to partner with their child's teacher.