I know I haven't been posting here much... but The John Perkins Center for Reconciliation, Leadership, Training, and Community Development at Seattle Pacific University got me writing again with a request to reflect on the Trayvon Martin case for their fall newsletter:
photo from The Perkins Perspective
"This summer, our family of five relocated from a quiet California suburb to the bustle one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods. An unusual and punishing heat wave hit the Pacific Northwest as we began to unpack, and we threw open the windows of our old Craftsman as we worked, trying to claim some cool air. That’s why, when my 11-year-old son found himself locked out of the house one afternoon, and no one heard him knocking, he opted to climb back in through the open front window, in full view of the busy street.
“You can’t do that!” I screeched at him when I found out.
“But I made sure no one was watching!” he said.
“Honey!” I answered. “You can never be sure!”
My son is black. My husband and I are white. And here’s what I thought, but did not say out loud, on that July afternoon: Oh, my dear 5’4”, 120 pound black son, if you think it is ever safe for you to climb through an open window in broad daylight, then I am failing you.
When my husband and I adopted our son and his younger sister from Ethiopia, as well as our eldest daughter from India, we understood we’d have to prepare the children for daunting racial challenges that we’d never experienced ourselves. We accepted the responsibility earnestly, but like many well-intentioned white people, deep down we believed, then, that the world was better than it is.
Continue reading at The Perkins Center Website...