I love reading the comments from all my readers. Some comments are funny, some are weird, and then there are some that are profound. The comment I'm about to share is one that definitely goes in the profound category for me because I never thought about the raising of a male, black child from a white mother's prospective and this reader's comment gave me that insight.
The reader left this comment on the "Trayvon Martin: A Black Boy's Burden" post. Her comment revealed that she shares the same anxiety of black mothers when it comes to her biracial sons.
I'm a white woman with three grown bi-racial sons. The Martin family is living my worst nightmare and biggest fear. I can't even imagine having to deal with the injustice and insult in addition to their grief.
A few years ago, late at night on New Years Eve my cellphone rang and caller ID showed it was my oldest son calling. When I answered no one was there but I could hear movement, voices and shouting in the background. I started screaming my sons name into the phone, terrified that he'd found himself in a situation with either a street thug or a cop. (Cause I don't think there's much difference in the potential outcome.) After a few seconds of terror I heard the very distinctive laugh of my middle sons wife. My two older sons and their wives were together playing WII boxing and his phone had "butt dialed" me. My relief was so great, and my fear just a moment before had been so large that I just started crying in relief and gratitude.
A few days later I was recounting this story to a white co-worker, herself a mother with a son, and not a racist in any way. But, she was a little confused by my reaction to the call and thought I might have "over-reacted". We talked about how middle of the night calls make her fear - "car accident"- pop into her head, as opposed to my fear - shot.
It happened to be the same New Years Eve that Oscar Grant, Robert Tolan and Adolph Grimes were all shot by police in different American cities. When I talked to my friend again and pointed out these shootings I saw that she finally "got it".
And God forgive me for saying it out loud and in public but I'm so terribly grateful to have granddaughters now rather than grandsons. The idea of watching another generation of my loved ones go out into the world with my heart in my throat...