Never Ending Racism
This is a really tough one for me. Racism was never really an issue for me. I was raised in a home where everyone (and I mean everyone) was an equal. Did I grow up in a predominantly white neighborhood, yes I did but my group of friends was always pretty multicultural. Now being a white female I kind of went through life thinking that in this day of age racism is/was a thing of the past. It wasn't until Shaun and I were on a weekend trip away in a large group of people and one person (white person) was using the N word in conversation and I about blew my lid. It was me that was so upset and pretty confrontational and Shaun not so much.
Now – almost 10 years later there is so much in the news that it makes me really sad.
From a NBA owner who makes a great deal of his money from black men on his team saying horrible and racist things.
To the twitterverse going off on a black NHL player for scoring a winning goal! I could not believe that people are so rooted in hate to put it out there on the internet.
I had this conversation with Shaun not long ago and said you know we are so lucky that we are in Canada! We are much more progressive, and then this happens:
This young man is a student at Sutton High School in York Region. Talk about hitting close to home. For the full story click HERE. The just of the story is he got into a fight at school after months of being bullied for being black and during the fight it was video taped. I decided not to watch the video but Shaun did and all I could here was bleep after bleep because of the names that this young man was being called.
So this is sadly a reality that we need to deal with and I am struggling with it. Over the weekend Shaun and I had a conversation and it is still running through my mind. When I hear about situations like this it gets me really upset. I get this horrible feeling in my gut. I look at that boy sitting on the couch with his father and I think that could be my son one day. I asked Shaun, "What do I do when that happens to Shane?" I will want to go out swinging for my kids! I do not want anyone calling our kids names or doing anything to them all because of the colour of their skin." What Shaun said next still brings tears to my eyes. "Amy, it will happen that is just the world that we live in. It happened to me and we will have to deal with it when it happens. We teach our kids to be strong and keep their heads up."
So here's the thing. That's not really ok with me! Being a racist is a learned behavior – we certainly are not born racist. There is nothing better than going to a park and seeing all the little ones playing with each other. They don't care what colour your skin is, what your hair looks like or who your parents are! We have obviously come a long way but there needs to be more. This is not a black, white, or brown issue. This is everyone's issue and wouldn't it be awesome if it wasn't a topic of conversation anymore!