When Suddenly No Lives Matter. 

It was a little over two and a half years ago, right before I was about to be married that I was asked the question, “Are you prepared for what you and your family will experience seeing as how you are marrying a black man?” Being a white girl raised in Salt Lake City, Utah I was offended. The man I was speaking with took notice to my offense and simply said “I don’t mean to hurt you, I just wanted to make sure that you were aware that things will be different than I think you are expecting. Things will be harder.” I explained that I was fine and that things were going to be great.

Two and a half wonderful years later, our son is now 5 and our youngest is almost 2 and the woman that I am now often looks back at that day and wishes I could have understood what he meant. I wish I would have understood that my husband would be pulled from his car and handcuffed, placed face down on the ground and arrested while I watched his helpless face, all because he had recently expired tags on his car. I wish I would have known that people would accuse my husband of kidnapping our oldest son because he’s white while simultaneously praising me for being a saint who graciously adopted a little black boy. I wish I would have understood the mean words that can escape someone’s lips when speaking about our mixed little family and the heartache that follows. I wish I would have used that time to consider how I would explain to my boys why people weren’t always nice.

In the past few years, there have been multiple events that have transpired that have caused me to really decide where I stand. I’ve watched and read and talked about men and woman of color being shot and disrespected by law enforcement and I’ve found myself on both sides of the fence. I’ve tucked my babies into bed and watched them sleep and with tears in my eyes I’ve thought, how do I protect you from the world? And I’ve also looked my baby in the eye and said “You better make smart decisions. Safe decisions. No robbing a gas station. No walking down the street swinging a sword around. No rioting. You are to be respectful. You are to be a member of society that contributes to the world. You are to be proud of who you are and your heritage. If you are anything less than these things, you might not come home to me one day.”

I suppose that part of the problem with the world is that once you are White you will never be Black and trying to understand their fear based on their experiences will always be hard for you. I would say that it’s been about 8 years since I had a taillight out on my car. I went over a year without fixing it before my uncle offered to fix it for me, not one day did I ever even think about it. Fast forward to about a month ago when my taillight was out again. Given my experience as a white female in the past, my current self had chosen not to fix it and instead save the money. My husband was crazy paranoid. He talked every day about the need for me to go and get it fixed. He would drive my car always on the lookout for police and in the event that he saw one he would quickly take another road, pull over to the side and wait for them to pass. I wasn’t quiet about my annoyance to his situation often complaining about his need to feel that because he was black the police were always out to get him. He would always patiently respond with “Babe, we just don’t need that problem.” Our taillight is now fixed but as I listened to the news of a man being shot in his car and the initial reason for the stop was a busted taillight I found myself feeling panicked. What if that was us and my lack of respect for his fears would have taken this same turn for the worst? I went to sleep that night wondering what the future looked like for my family but when I woke up the next morning I would only realize that things were about to get worse, not only for my family but for everyone.

The world is full of people. It’s not full of police officers, doctors, teachers, Asians, Hispanics, Males and Females. Our earth is full of people. People who fortunately and unfortunately have the same equal opportunity to decide how they live their lives. It’s full of people who get to make decisions whether they are good or bad. It’s full of people who are affected by those decisions whether they are good or bad. It’s so easy to get caught up in the idea that the problem is US against THEM when the reality is that it’s good versus evil and always has been. People don’t come out of the womb hating their neighbor. Hate is taught and learned. Hate comes from the inside. It’s felt and it lingers. Hate pushes you to find revenge for what you feel is unjust and unfair. Equality is something that we can only hope for and in a perfect world it would exist but the reality is that it doesn’t now and the sad truth is that it’s probably going to be a while if ever.

So what do you do now? Now that 5 police officers are dead because of the bad decisions of other PEOPLE. What has that fixed? How many people are going to bed tonight wishing their loved one had come home, black or white, but because of hate they will never walk in the door? All I keep seeing are officers who are afraid of my husband now more than ever. I see wives begging their husbands not to leave whether they are leaving the house with a badge or black skin. I see parents teaching their children to be afraid of the police instead of teaching them to respect those that put their lives on the line to keep us safe. Or parents who pull their children closer when a black man sits to closely on the bus. Ultimately the difference that I want to see in the world doesn’t come from finding justice for those that have been mistreated and disrespected. It comes from what I choose to teach within the walls of my own home. It comes from raising law abiding citizens that respect those around them. It comes from teaching your children that wrong decisions are coupled with consequences and that life isn’t always fair, it was never meant to be. It’s about seeing people as just that, people. Not as their skin color or what they do for a living. Not as who they choose to marry or what they choose to worship. It’s about seeing people as free humans who choose their life and make their own decisions and then finding peace within what you can control. It’s about showing the world through how you live that they were wrong about what they thought they knew about you. It’s about teaching them that while racism is still alive and well, we are working to teach our kids to grow up expecting a better tomorrow regardless of circumstance.

All lives matter but the truth is that Black lives haven’t always mattered. It is important to place an emphasis on finding solutions to our deepest fears as we watch our loved ones struggle to be treated equally. Violence no matter how oppressed you may feel will never yield the trust and peace filled relationships we yearn for. Taking the life of a father or a mother or a husband or a wife will never bring back what you may have lost. It will not take away your fears and it will not calm your troubled soul. It is not paving the way for any future that we hope to be brighter for us and our children. Hate breeds hate and our only hope left in this world lies within what we can control. Hope isn’t in your Facebook status, your Ksl news article debate or even your good-willed peace protests. It starts at home and it starts with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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338 thoughts on “When Suddenly No Lives Matter. 

  1. Why are you OK with driving around in an unsafe vehicle with 2 kids? What about the life of the driver behind you and crashes because you won’t fix you tall light? Why is your uncle fixing the light? between you and your husband with the use of google you can’t change a light? you have enough money to take pictures all over the place but not for a safety concern (your and others).

    expire tags is an unregistered car and can be used in all kinds crimes. not difference between a unregistered car and a unregistered gun.

    Yes I agree different types of people get treated differently.

    This has been happening since the beginning of people and still happens.

    Unfortunately, the police will profile a person then act accordingly to their past experiences. If we this to change then all the interactions between law enforcement and citizens need to go more smoothly for a long time before the stereo types change.

    My comment is about your crimes not the treatment of people.

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    1. I understand that my actions were illegal. It was fixed shortly after and I have recognized that it wasn’t a safe decision. We have had open discussions about this topic and I addressed it in my interview with CNN about how neglectful and dangerous this choice was. It was fixed days later and I understand where you are coming from. The point of this article was the difference in how people feel with the police. Thank you for your comment.

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    2. Wow. A little harsh aren’t you? We all have faults and shortcomings in our lives. Unless you are perfect and never ever break one single traffic law you should probably be a little kinder in your comments. We all need more kindness and leas finger pointing in this society. That’s the whole point of the article afterall.

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  2. I am a white person of multiracial ancestry who rejects the “one drop rule” nonsense and false “black” identity. If you presume that your black husband will be in danger when he is in the company of your white son, why not assume that your biracial son is also a “danger” to him since he is light-skinned? It’s common to hear tales of people being challenged as possible kidnappers because they had the “wrong” color of children in their custody.

    http://multiracial.com/site/index.php/2004/09/01/white-racial-identity-racial-mixture-and-the-one-drop-rule/

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    1. @mischling2nd She didn’t say that she “presumed” her husband would be in danger, she said he husband had been accused of kidnapping their white son. Your comparison of other people (of any color) commonly being challenged as kidnappers if they have kids who appear to be a different race in their custody is not a valid one. The white woman (the author) has been praised for being a saint for having kids of “another race” in her custody. The only difference here is that she is white and he is black. Your underlying argument seems to be that racism does not exist in America today. That blacks are treated equally. I can imagine this being a frustrating topic for you to accept as a multi-racial person.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. What a beautiful, insightful and articulate article. I am thankful for your personal perspective and plea for “All lives matter.” We should all be working toward Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward all Men. These triflings over and making a broken tail light into more than it is, take away from the true message of this post. Be Nice. Be Kind. Treat others as you would like to be treated. See the good. Find common ground. Thank you and may God keep you safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We also have an interracial family, we live in a little mid west town, my husband (white) was asked several times by some one in the local grocery store, where he’d gotten our older son? 1st time he was so lost, he did not know how to respond because it’s NATURALLY his child!! Next time he was asked, he told them that he’d gotten him out of his wife’s tummy!!
    Another incident happened on the playground in our nearby neighborhood, our older son was playing basketball with another child, that child (black) made off with our son’s basketball (there were just the 2 of them playing there, so we were pretty sure it’s him who had it), by mistake or not, we didn’t know, my husband said to me, “I’ll get it back, he probably mistakenly took it”, I said “uh uh no! You’ll look very bad if you go after it, you’re white, he’s a black child, it won’t look right! let me…”. See what all these years of distrust and hatred did to all of us HUMANS?!?!
    I 100% agree with you that “Violence no matter how oppressed you may feel will never yield the trust and peace filled relationships we yearn for.” and it’ll take years/generations to restore that TRUST!

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    1. ” 100% agree with you that “Violence no matter how oppressed you may feel will never yield the trust and peace filled relationships we yearn for.””

      That’s the perfect example of White privilege. when white america inflicts violence on Black bodies, I doubt you’d DO–not say– anything against it.

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  5. I appreciate and shared your post when no lives matter. You have a unique position to speak from. I do, however, have an issue with the cause of the taillight. You car came with an operator’s manual. If it is a used car, you can find the manual online. It has such information in it as how to check fluids, replace fuses, and replace bulbs. The cost of a bulb and screw driver are negligible. You could help a lot of people save money, stress, and frustration by educating them on the use of an operator’s manual.

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  6. One person is all it takes to make a difference. One person can change people’s lives for the better, or worse with a message of positivity, or negativity. One person can take a life away and change the lives of many. Like you said in your blog, “It starts at home and it starts with you”. Everyone has a choice to be good, or evil. No one has a choice of how they’re born. As long as there are people, there are going to be good and bad people making decisions that will affect lives positively , or negatively. As long as there are different people, there are going to be people treating them differently. All you can do is make the best choice possible when the time comes. What you’re going through with your family is nothing new. There have been mixed relationships since differences in appearance first occurred thousands of years ago. Love knows no boundaries. Unfotunately, neither does ignorance. The same ignorance is still here thousands of years later. You look different, therefore you must be different. I commend you for your efforts and wish you and your family the best. You can’t control others, you can only control you.

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  7. My heart breaks that any of this has happend for any reason – lack of respect is just not acceptable. My oldest niece is white and married a wonderful man from Jamaica – so he’s not Caucasian. They subscribe to LegalShield (which is access to attorney even 24/7 in case of emergencies) and that makes me feel better. I’ve been a member for 7 years and it’s amazing to know that for $20/month, everyone in my household has access to attorneys. I agree that all of this hate and racism is a learned thing (which is terribly sad) and not something we emerge from the womb knowing. How anyone would ever teach their children or show by example hate towards fellow man, saddens me beyond measure. THank you for being brave and teaching your children that love is love no matter what package it comes in. You are inspirational!

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  8. Chelsie,

    Thank you for sharing your story. As I have read through the comments, I realize that the true message of your story is indeed, lost on some….and hence, why people of color continue, and will continue to experience a wide range of unfortunate treatment- from being judged / assessed as a criminal simply based on skin color to the experience of your husband, right on to being killed even when innocent. The ER surgeon (African-American) who worked selflessly in the effort to save the Dallas police officers shared his own experiences about how he is treated when he has his work clothing on and how differently he is treated when he is in his “civilian” clothing. That alone speaks volumes.

    As we all shockingly note, not one of the major networks has made serious note of Nest Gingrich’s comment about how long it has taken him to realize, believe and acknowledge that people of color have, and live a very different experience that most Caucasians have absolutely no idea about.

    Let’s not forget that, racism works both ways and it is not only from Caucasians towards people of color. The other way around is, even though on a smaller scale, very much alive.

    Regarding law enforcement, it is incorrect to state, believe or assume that every one behind the badge is going to treat people of color the way your husband was or what we have seen and heard in the media recently. We can not undermine the absolutely critical part that law enforcement has to genuinely undertake in exposing and removing those among their rank and file who are, believe and display racism. The code of blue has to look inwards and root-out the elements within itself that give it a bad name.

    There are good cops and there are bad cops. I have always said that in as long as there are rogue civilian community members, there will be rogue cops. Any one who believes that all cops are saints has his / her head stuck in the sand ….or somewhere else.

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  9. Chelsie,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences. I can identify with what you wrote….even the taillight. I too am married to a black man and, while he tried to prepare me for all the prejudices we would face, at the time i couldn’t really understand. However, we have recently faced racism right in our own neighborhood from a few of the neighbors. They don’t try and hide it…telling their husbands they can’t be around mine because ‘he is black’, calling to my husband’s job to get him fired, and even going so far as to come in our yard and mess with our garden. My husband has done nothing to warrant any of this yet because of the color of his skin they are filled with hate.

    You are absolutely correct in stating that it begins at home. Growing up in an all ‘white’ home we were taught to respect all people no matter their race or nationality. However, I wish it went deeper than that. Our children need to also be taught at home about the injustices in this world so they can be prepared for when they themselves face them. And they need to be taught to make right decisions. You have two choices …be a part of the problem or be a part of the solution. My husband is always saying that the answer to the problem is love… if our children are taught to love they will have no room for hate. Violence and arguing will not solve the problem but if we teach our children to love others regardless of skin color or nationality, there will be no more room for hate. And yes I realize you can’t force people to love but we can teach our children to. They are the future of this country. This is what I want my daughter to learn.

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  10. Hello,

    I am new to reading your blog but I have enjoyed reading about you, your family, and your experiences. It is actually similar experiences to what my family and I have gone through. I have an 11 year old biracial son and while our conversations regarding race are obviously different based off his age, the conversation you detailed with your young son reminds me of what I have been dealing with in regards to my fear of my son one day not coming home to me. While I agree with much of what you wrote and understand your point of peace and acceptance starting in our homes, I did not entirely agree with your sentiments regarding your son being able to control his safety. It has been extremely hard for me to come to this realization and even more so challenging talking to my child about this topic but ultimately the fear I have is that there is very little ways in which my son can alter his behavior to enable him to be more safe. I can stress the importance of him being respectful, proud and law abiding but current examples of people losing their lives shows this is not enough to prevent him from being legally murdered. I want my son to be proud of who he is but his pride may be interpreted by others as protest and disobedience. I have had to become more aware of this to curb the casual racism I have grown up with and become so accustomed to that it was difficult to even see it; but I could not live in denial because at a certain point experiences with racism due to my interracial relationship required me to either stay in willful denial and naïveté or learn a higher level of consciousness. All this is not to say that you are not aware or that you are living in denial but those few sentences spoke to me and I wanted to address that and bring it to light. Silence is similar to complicity and therefore I wanted to add this dimension to your article.

    God Bless you and your family.

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    1. I do completely agree. I in no way expect my children to be complacent. I don’t not expect them to always be safe even under their best behavior. But there have been articles that have come out that the behavior of the individual cost them their lives. I appreciate you sharing your experiences. Sharing your voice and being involved in peaceful opportunities to share your experience is how you change things. If peaceful protests would stay peaceful I would be so much more inclined to participate but I just feel that they become violent more often then not and are then contradictory to their purpose. Thank you for your voice. ❤️

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      1. It’s unfortunate that your White privilege and racist apologist ideology still runs so deep and you insist on spewing nonsensical things like “articles have come out that the behavior of the individual cost them their lives.” UNBELIEVABLE, really. I’m disappointed I was feeling hopeful and gave your site the click, I knew from the header you were like this. Shout out to your fellow sistren – CC – for trying to enlighten you though, you need all the help raising your son to be conscious.

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    1. I am so sorry that the person calling themselves officer Hernandez which I doubt . . is part of the problem. I am so sorry that he or she is not part of the dialogue of civility, respect and character but isblocked by narrow thinking and weak reasoning.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for telling us your story. Like anotjertcomment, I’m so sorry that there are.such cruel people Isn’t there a filter feature in blogs that allows you to screen a comment and prevent a posting unless you approve?

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    1. There is. It’s hurtful to see ugly comments but there are people out there that don’t believe it unless they see it kinda thing. So at first I was deleting rude comments and then when people started doubting that there were hateful people on both sides I started approving them so that people could get a clear picture of the situation, if that makes sense.

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  12. “You better make smart decisions. Safe decisions. No robbing a gas station. No walking down the street swinging a sword around. No rioting. You are to be respectful. You are to be a member of society that contributes to the world. You are to be proud of who you are and your heritage. If you are anything less than these things, you might not come home to me one day.”

    Reading this specific sentence reaffirmed my position on why I feel white women should not have brown children.

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    1. Desiree,
      What a shocking statement! I ‘d really like to read your explanation. I’d hold back my comments till you share your reasoning.

      Thank you.
      Carl

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      1. I think the issue of Desirée comment is the implication that black people who die at the hand of law enforce enforcement always deserve their fate. When a shooting happens the first question is what was that black man doing to get killed? You almost never hear that the officer was wrong in firing his or her weapon. We can look back at several examples of black people being shot out of hand most recently a black man with his hand up, fifteen to twenty feet away from the police being shot and killed because the office “felt” in danger despite being no where near that office at all. The author puts the onus on her child to behave without any thought for his safety because she truly believes that compliance will some how keep him alive. She doesn’t take into account situations like Darius Simmons or Aiyana Stanly-Jones. The author also callously disregards her husbands real fear of being pulled over by the police because she is incapable of feeling even the slightest empathy for his situation. All in all, she is going to teach her son his blackness is the problem and not the mindset and mentality of the system he lives in nor the people in it that will see him as a instant danger without him doing anything to deserve that label. This is way Desirée feels it a disservice for her to raise a brown child. She is going to send him out into the world unprepared for the reality of being black in America because ultimately she doesn’t care enough to try to change that systems he lives in because his reality isn’t hers.

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      2. Thank you Shay for explaining perfectly what I meant. When I initially wrote this I was pissed upon seeing this and didn’t take the time to fully articulate my response so that others would fully understand. You are 100% correct in assuming what I was trying to say. A non-minority just doesn’t understand what it is like to live in a world where people assume the worst of you and act on it simply because of your appearance.

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    2. Desiree, who are you to decide whether or not white women should have brown children, as if your opinion has any relevance on how other people should live their lives? Your attitude and prejudice is part of the problem.

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      1. Did I say that my opinion has relevance on others decisions, no. White people period have no understanding of what it means to be brown not only in America, but in the world. This statement shows her lack of understanding, her expectations that her children will behave this way because they have the tainted “brown gene” and how she is terrified that they will exhibit it and not come home. White people don’t belong with anyone other than white people and that is just that.

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      2. Such a strange inference you make, Desiree. I understand the author to believe that her darker skinned husband and son have nothing wrong with their characters (or the behavioral genes you refer to) but rather because of their outer color would receive greater scrutiny for slipping up or doing wrong and thus would have greater risk of being unjustly injured or killed.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Desiree,

      How sad. Desiree, I thought you’d have sound reasoning for your statement. In reading your response to Dave, I see you unfortunately do not. In as much as I, and we should all respect your feelings and opinion, I believe we also have fair reason to let you know not only how wrong your statement, feelings and opinion are, and just how myopic. Anyone with what you expressed is utterly mistaken. You paint so broadly that you fail to acknowledge your own bias. I have to agree with Dave on the statement that your attitude and mindset are part of the problem. Anyone who shares your sentiments – be they brown, black, blue, green or whatever other color there is – is also part of the problem.
      Two wrongs don’t make it right. Lumping all ‘white’ women or people in a certain bucket is astonishingly uneducated. I am certain you know better than that Desiree.

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      1. Desiree,
        You betcha I do. Why would ANY mother not tell her precious children to behave, not do drugs, not rob people or places, don’t wave pretend weapons. Use your brain. You’re smarter than that. Be respectful. Follow police officer’s instructions the first time. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you might not come home.
        Yes, ma’am, I’m white and I tell my white children that. Because the police, right now, are fearful. People being stopped are fearful. With both parties afraid it’s a powder keg and I don’t want my children to light the match.
        I want to raise responsible people who respect the police and not have to worry when they’re stopped. Stop listening to the media and look up facts. It’s not a race issue. It’s a parenting issue. So, yes, I tell my white children how to behave. That’s my job. I’m a mom.

        Liked by 1 person

    4. It sad, heartbreaking and upsetimg to know that’s it’s quite possible and way to common that they do not come home just because of who they are, what they look like, and expect to be respected as such!😞

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  13. Thank you for this post. As a white woman living in a predominantly white community I have tried to understand what it is like to be a person of any color. I’m a reader so I’ve read lots of novels, etc. but I know my perspective is narrow. I so appreciate people who speak out and share experiences. They help me gain little glimpses of the understanding I seek.

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  14. This blog just brings up so many different thoughts and emotions that I don’t know where to begin. However, let me start with, I try extremely hard not to be prejudice, have had a black boyfriend, have many black friends, but on occasion, I do feel myself becoming prejudice when I see certain atrocities in this world. I grew up not knowing what prejudices were, until I decided to date a blacl guy. My family, for lack of a better word, flipped out, mainly my dad. It was then that I decided I would be rebellious to the prejudices in my family. However, when I realized just how prejudice black people were to interracial relationships, I decided to view my choices in another perspective. I came to the conclusion that, although I do not judge mixed families, my personal thoughts are that every race was intended by God to stay within their race. We all started at different parts of the world, with different types of elements to endure, with different beliefs and cultures being developed. Hence the reason for our different body types and complexions, or for the different types of religious celebrations, different types of food. While I feel that we should treat eachother equally and share our cultural differences with one another, I do not feel our races should mix when it comes to marriage. Let me be clear, I do not judge anyone for their choices, including you, to marry outside of their race, however.

    On a separate note, I do know racism is real and is a struggle for all people, not just black people. I do know that I, personally, have seen prejudice actions at the hands of black people. I have also seen prejudice actions at the hands of white people. I also feel that, now more than ever, this problem has become great. We are becoming a country that is divided, far more than united!

    As far as your husband being profiled by a police officer for the color of his skin, I do believe this happens. However, and my reasoning isn’t saying that it is a just one, but there are so many black people that are stuck in the “thug life” way. There are so many black people, especially where I live, that are such unproductive members of society, that think their lives should be about selling drugs, joining gangs, getting high, not having a job, packing guns, saying “F” the police, and listening to rap music to confirm the glory of their lives. These are the black people that many cops see and deal with, and are afraid of! There are also plenty of great, wonderful, intelligent, product black members of society that pay for the aforementioned one’s choices. I am once again not saying this is a justifiable reason, but I do believe it is the reason for a majority of cops’ actions against black people.

    On the other hand, black people treat white people badly as well. As a teenager, I watched a group of black boys beat the crap out of a white boy, that had mental problems. As he screamed and cried for help, not knowing what he did wrong. As I stood there pleading for them to stop, they laughed and thought it was funny, saying “F” you white boy. Quite similar to what happened recently in Chicago. Only these boys weren’t caught. Why do they act like this? Because they feel white people are the enemy. Many black people figure, the white people started it first, they started slavery. That was how many years ago! It is time to get out of that state of mind.

    We cannot expect change and equality when there are still black people thinking white people are all prejudice and they made us slaves. It is time to get over that state of mind. It is time for white people to stop thinking black people are all bad, all thugs, dirty, impure. We need a cease fire so to speak between races. We need black men to start growing up as you mentioned, to be productive members of society, instead of thugs. They need to show their intelligence and their skills in this world…not show how bad they can be. On a final note, I left work and went to the post office with two huge boxes yesterday. As I pulled up to the post office and took the boxes out of my car in the snow, I thought “how am I opening the post office door with hands full of boxes?” As I approached the door, a girl went in and I try to get to the door as it closed behind her, in the hopes of stopping it from completely closing. Then, a young black man was passing me, turned around and said “I’ll open that for you.” I said “oh, thank you so much. I didn’t know how I was getting it open.” If I didn’t have boxes in my hand, I would’ve hugged him! Not just for the actual simple act of opening a door for me, but because he was a kind, respectful, black man, that opened the door for Me! Something that should be common kindness between any individual in society, but is not. He wanted nothing in return, except to be a gentleman helping a fellow person out! Yet the black girl who just went in before me, saw me approaching the door and turned her back. I wish all of us would be more like this young man!

    Thank you for your blog, I think it is a great article. Despite the bitterness of many in this world, there are still plenty of kind, non-judgmental people in this world, and I hope your family sees the better side of it, rather than the side that treats you unfairly because of your choice to love another person who happens to have a different skin color.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow! I just read your comment and would like to point out one thing. The world literally doesn’t revolve around you or your feelings. Your dad didn’t like you dating a black guy but that’s a fine and normal response. Yet if black people don’t like you dating a black guy, you come to the conclusion that the races should be separate because they didn’t immediately lay palms on the road or throw rose petals at your feet for your obvious good deed? Have you thought about why black people may not be accepting of you? Have you thought about the legacy of political, societal and cultural abuse many still suffer on a daily basis? Nope, you just thought about your feelings and your narrow minded views that somehow you dating a black guy should be viewed by the black community as next best thing to the second coming….Your statement regarding being rebellious against your families views is explanation enough for any person to conclude you didn’t date the guy because he was a good person, a worthy companion or a great addition to your life, you dated him to use him to get a rise out of your family, to thumb your nose at your family’s “normal” values. That is never a reason to date a person, because it smacks of not really seeing the object of your supposed affection as a human being with a right to be treated as such.

      I laughed a little at your sentence about black men growing up to be productive members of society. My question is how? How are those little black boys going to become men of worth when the odds are they are going to be targeted by the society you say they need to be apart of? You act like the school to prison pipeline isn’t an active policy. You act as though the education system in the inner city is equatable to those in affluent white neighborhoods. You seem not to understand that though there is a heroin epidemic going on in white communities with per capita more white drug users, black people are still jailed 3 to 5 time more for the same offenses then their white counter parts. Yet, you want black men to find success with loaded dice and policy makers stacking the deck against them. YOU make no mention of white people changing their attitudes, you certainly do make mention of policy changes or the cultural change it will take white people to make to actually affect how black people are treated in the US today. Your little plan seems a bit one sided, sort like the authors nonsensical narrative that simple compliance is going ever keep her child safe in a hostile world.

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      1. Shay,

        Thank you for taking the time to share, rather eloquently, what Desiree couldn’t. I think Desiree’s honest comment about being “pissed” when she read Chelsie’s post should be a lesson to us all: vis-á-vis, responding when emotionally charged. E should take the time to calm down, re-read whatever it was that triggered us, and try to understand what is being said. Maybe, even ask questions for understanding.

        I’d like to comment on your response to Kelly. I thought Kelly’s post was fairly balanced as both sides were addressed. The comments and perspectives shared were spot-on, I thought.

        After reading your response, Shay, I went back to re-read Kelly’s post. I can see how a basis could be formulated for your response. I am not holding brief for Kelly (as I am not Kelly, do not know Kelly, nor do I know exactly what Kelly wanted to project) however, I think Kelly’s post may have been taken out of context.

        I hope Kelly responds to the points you raised, Shay, to provide deeper insights for all of us. Excellent dissection and post, Shay.

        Thanks

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      2. Carl
        I have never seen a man act so petty. I didn’t ask any questions because I didn’t/don’t have any questions or lack of understanding. Was my comment emotionally charged, yes, because I am extremely passionate regarding MY people. Time would not have changed how or what I said.

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      3. Desiree,
        Thank you for your response. I believe you misunderstood my post. Your response exemplifies exactly what I am trying to get across. Seeking to understand prior to responding.

        Here is your complete response to Shay after she clearly expressed what you couldn’t – again because you were emotionally triggered:

        “Desiree Perry says:
        March 16, 2017 at 3:19 pm
        Thank you Shay for explaining perfectly what I meant. When I initially wrote this I was pissed upon seeing this and didn’t take the time to fully articulate my response so that others would fully understand. You are 100% correct in assuming what I was trying to say. A non-minority just doesn’t understand what it is like to live in a world where people assume the worst of you and act on it simply because of your appearance.”

        Nothing wrong in being passionate about ‘my people’ as you put it. It’s how the passion is projected (manner of speaking, word choice etc) that either correctly reflects, or unfortunately takes away from, the passion.

        Thanks

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      4. Carl, it is my belief that many people feel they treat everyone the “same” and proudly state that notion, like Kelly. But the truth is you can’t treat everyone the same because people are not the same. Kelly makes mention of several instances of black people being hostile to her or another white person and uses that as a catalyst for justifying her prejudices. You will note that she doesn’t bring up instances of white people doing unspeakable things to black people because their black. For every one of her examples I can name ten that involve the blatant abuse of black people by white people and better yet I can name government sanctioned abuse of black people by white people that hasn’t ended in this modern era. I mean, I mentioned Darius Simmons because he was killed taking his garbage to the curb by his white neighbor who though wrongly he “stole” something from his home. I made mention of Aiyana Stanly-Jones because she was shot in the head by a white police officer raiding a home and he didn’t see any jail-time, she was 7 and Darius was 13. I could have made mention of the historic context of so called black people’s hostility to white people, but she brings up slavery like there wasn’t another 150 years of oppression attached to that legacy. I don’t know… did she forget Jim Crow, or the black codes or sundowner towns or the many and varied parties, picnics and fairs that have been held in this country for the express purpose of hanging, mutilating or burning a black person ( men, woman, children and infants) for the entertainment of masses of people. Please tell me when black people have done such things to white people without consequences? Especially in this country? And I would like to point out that these things have not stopped. Currently there has been a rash of black girls and boys kidnapped in large cities around this country…for months and years, please tell me how this is just being made public? I will answer, because black people aren’t deemed important enough to warrant concern by white people. Missing black children aren’t going to garner notice and Kelly’s attitude…the authors attitude are prime example of why the country is in the state it is in. So, Carl…I am well aware of Kelly’s attitude and her words have not been take out of context. Best wishes,

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      5. Hi Shay,

        Once again, an impressive response with reasoning backed by fact. I am in full agreement with the examples you shared and the fact that there are many more untold egregious and unspeakable acts against black people. As to why this is now being exposed more and more, I think it may be partly due to technology (phones, cameras, the internet, various apps, etc.) being more ubiquitous, as well as more and more people realizing that racism and discrimination are real and that what some black people have been saying for years is actually true.

        The mindset you mention of black people not being important or valued is legitimate in some pockets across the country. No argument there.

        The one thing I’d like to add is this: every race has its groups of racists, those who discriminate, those who are thieves and thugs and those who are true legitimate and genuine human beings who see and treat people for who they are – fellow human beings – rather than the color of their skin.

        Lumping all black people in a derogatory bucket is just as wrong, ignorant, inconsiderate, uneducated and in my opinion, downright dumb, (to keep this post clean) just as it is when white people are lumped together in a derogatory bucket or any other race is, for that matter.

        We have to continue the concerted effort of working together to bridge the gaps. A lot has been done, and there’s still a lot more yet to be done. We all, need to roll-up our sleeves and genuinely commit to working together and supporting one another. Some say it’s impossible. I say it’s very much possible.

        There is so much more to say, however, I’ll end here for now. Again, great insightful responses, Shay.

        Thank you.

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  15. Funny how most of the commentators here blame all racism on whites! Have any of you people been to Africa? Zimbabwe? South Africa? They have LAWS that forbid whites to have jobs, businesses and contracts etc! They have LAWS that allow the African Governments to take away farms and land from white folk! America and Europe have NO IDEA just how bad it is to be a white in Africa; then we hear this nonsense here?!?! I say you should behave yourself if you don’t want to be “harassed” by the Police! I say you should speak properly and in a mellow tone of voice if you are unhappy about something – don’t go burn and loot shops and houses!!! I say just behave yourself and everything will be fine otherwise why not go home to Africa and see how bad an African Country will treat you – Just because they can!!!!

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    1. Oh come on! Clearly you come across as having some knowledgeable about certain world issues. However, you woefully fail the “classifying-all-in-one-class” test.

      Yes, there are maybe a handful of African countries that do not welcome or appreciate whites – even though the whites are citizens by birth. There are 54 countries on the African continent. A vast majority are hospitable to ALL races and ethnicities. Please get your facts straight.
      (And let’s not get into the issue of racism and discrimination metted out to the indigenous blacks by some whites. Do the names Apartheid and Pik Botha ring any bells?). If not, I humbly suggest you do some research. I am not holding brief for either side: racism is wrong no matter the side that delivers it. Please don’t tell half the story because it suits your narrative. The impression it creates of you is quite unfortunate.

      There is racism from whites and racism from blacks. Anyone who denies this is either asleep or sadly, and quite shockingly, ignorant. Having said that, I will also say the same for anyone who says that historically, blacks and minorities have not been unfairly targeted or mistreated by the police. Even police officers who are honest and forthright admit to this fact.

      Regardless whether you are blue, black, red, green, white, yellow or whatever color you may be, everyone has to respect the other – including the police. The vice versa also holds true if we are to have true peace and harmony in our communities and country as a whole.

      Your statement about “going back home” is rather unfortunate, and a shameful representation of the misguided attitudes and mindset that are plaguing this Blessed Nation of ours from certain quarters. It also fails the test I mentioned earlier.

      You may disparage me, call me names etc. Just know that I do not, and will not hate you. Remember that when you point a finger at someone, there are three pointing right back at you. Take sometime and look at the man / woman in the mirror. More often than not, that’s where the change ought to begin.

      Thank you.

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  16. Wow! Desiree’s article gives a glimpse into the disconnect that many white people have in understanding the black experience and insensitivity to issues that black people still face today- post-slavery.

    First off, I too was offended by this: “You better make smart decisions. Safe decisions. No robbing a gas station. No walking down the street swinging a sword around. No rioting. You are to be respectful. You are to be a member of society that contributes to the world. You are to be proud of who you are and your heritage. If you are anything less than these things, you might not come home to me one day.”

    The issue with this statement is that it is a generalization of black behavior. In juxtaposition, by saying “You better make smart decisions”, it’s as if Desiree is saying that black people don’t make smart decisions.

    I’m so bothered. There were other statements that were equally insensitive but I do not have all day.

    THIS STATEMENT IS FOR ANY PERSON READING THAT DOES NOT HAVE BLACK SKIN:

    You cannot expect ANY black person that is a descendant of slaves to just “get over slavery”. THE EFFECTS OF SLAVERY STILL EXIST.

    I believe that the main reason for this is that the wrong was never made right. Native Americans and Jews have received reparations for years of slavery and injustice and look at their communities. They could rebuild and thrive. BLACK PEOPLE THAT ARE DESCENDANTS OF SLAVES HAVE NEVER RECEIVED REPARATIONS AND THUS THE BLACK COMMUNITY STILL SUFFERS TODAY. Imagine that you were robbed of your language and forbidden to speak it or learn to read English or you’d be killed. Imagine your men being pimped to make more slaves and your women being raped and separated from their children and husbands. Imagine being a man and conditioned to make babies and not being able to financially support your family or protect your “baby mother” because remember, this was conditioned for hundreds of years as slaves couldn’t marry and often were pimped or raped. What you receive after hundreds of years of conditioning is broken homes, illiteracy, infighting due to oppression, gangs and violence because no father figures exist and no jobs exist in underprivileged communities. I could continue, but truth is, many white people will never fully understand the depth of the effects of slavery and how what’s meets the eye is much deeper.
    I wish you all God’s blessings. Peace.

    Like

  17. Wow! This article gives a glimpse into the disconnect that many white people have in understanding the black experience and insensitivity to issues that black people still face today- post-slavery.

    First off, I too was offended by this: “You better make smart decisions. Safe decisions. No robbing a gas station. No walking down the street swinging a sword around. No rioting. You are to be respectful. You are to be a member of society that contributes to the world. You are to be proud of who you are and your heritage. If you are anything less than these things, you might not come home to me one day.”

    The issue with this statement is that it is a generalization of black behavior. In juxtaposition, by saying “You better make smart decisions”, it’s as if the writer is saying that black people don’t make smart decisions.

    I’m so bothered. There were other statements that were equally insensitive but I do not have all day to respond.

    THIS STATEMENT IS FOR ANY PERSON READING THAT DOES NOT HAVE BLACK SKIN:

    You cannot expect ANY black person that is a descendant of slaves to just “get over slavery”. THE EFFECTS OF SLAVERY STILL EXIST.

    I believe that the main reason for this is that the wrong was never made right.
    Native Americans and Jews have received reparations for years of slavery and injustice and look at their communities: They have been able to rebuild and thrive.
    BLACK PEOPLE THAT ARE DESCENDANTS OF SLAVES HAVE NEVER RECEIVED REPARATIONS AND THUS THE BLACK COMMUNITY STILL SUFFERS TODAY.
    Imagine that you were robbed of your language and forbidden to speak it or forbidden to learn to read English or you’d be killed. Imagine your men being pimped to make more slaves and your women being raped and separated from their husbands and children. Imagine being a man and conditioned to make babies and not being able to financially support your family or protect your “baby mother” because remember, this was conditioned for hundreds of years as slaves couldn’t marry and often were pimped or raped and families separated as unified families were considered a threat.
    What you receive after hundreds of years of harsh conditioning is broken homes, illiteracy, infighting due to oppression, gangs and violence because no father figures exist and no jobs exist in underprivileged communities.
    I could continue, but truth is, many white people will never fully understand the depth of the effects of slavery and how what meets the eye is much deeper.

    Your generalizations and perspectives are often more fuel to the fire that black people are embroiled in everyday- all because of the the color of their skin.

    One last thing: As a black person, sometimes you receive “consequences” for being black. You don’t even have to do anything “wrong”. Take that and think on it.
    I wish you all God’s blessings. Peace.

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  18. Everything about this is offensive. Starting with the title of your blog. 3 BOYS? See, this is part of the problem, white people seeing black men as boys. It may seem cute to you, and you may have been ignorant of the connotation, but what you’re doing is emasculating your husband. Something white people have been doing for, ever. Particularly, white women.

    Your whole sentiment is a basically a long version of “comoly, don’t die.” It’s bullshit. It’s so easy for unaffected white people to say, don’t swing swords (WTF), don’t riot, don’t rob a gas station… Again, WTF. Black people are killed for much less egregious activities such as handling a gun, off the shelf, in a Walmart, playing music too loud, walking home from a friend’s, walking home from a party…

    To say “abide by the law” is completely missing the point. It doesn’t matter how we act as black men, we are feared, we are hated and that is never going to change. If you think you’re special because you married a back man, you’re not. Your words make it worse, because you’re not recognizing that the system is broken.

    A system where racists cops are not only hired, but protected and promoted. A system where training is more focused on how to properly shoot someone then how to use your head and de-escalate the situation non-violently. A system where cops can perpetrate violence on citizens, get complaints and yet still keep their jobs. A system where even when a cop is guilty of gross misconduct, they don’t get brought to trial, or worse, they get “tried” and get off.

    Look Chelsie, I know you’re from Utah and all, but now that you’re married to a black man and the mother of a black boy, you need to wrap your head around the reality you face. You need to think hard about what you will do. Instead of writing this useless drivel, you need to get busy advocating change. Find out what training looks like in your town. Learn more about the civilian oversight board. Find out what organizations are fighting police brutality. DO something productive instead of writing about it. Because you’re not even good at that.

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  19. It touched my heart reading this. Some will never understand..i am a black woman and I have a niece that is biracial. People don’t get it when you have certain odds against you in this world..you have to fight because you are a woman..you have to fight because you are a white woman married to a black man..you have to fight because you have biracial lids that are going to grow up and be men one day…ypu are a special kind of lady I have to tell you that. God Bless..you..your husband..and your children! May God always find favor amongst your entire family.

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  20. Thank you for writing your post. I am also a part of interracial marriage. Where I come from in South East Asia, interracial marriages are accepted as normal. When I wanted to marry my wonderful African-American husband, my uncle who immigrated to USA for past 30 years asked “Are you ready to marry an African-American?” I was also, as you, quite baffled by the question as I did not understand what did he meant. Previously, I did think that my husband’s views about racism and abuse of power by law enforcers are hugely exaggerated. However, over the months and the incidents followed showed me that racism is alive in this country and somehow lighter skinned people are conditioned to have more prejudice against people with darker skin. It also did not help that darker skinned people are also prejudiced against darker skinned people! There are so many factors that contribute to this really dangerous thinking that neither you and I can really elaborate all of it by ourselves and I am just starting to understand the nuances of racism that affected EVERYBODY in this country. In my attempt to understand more of this situation, with my background as a professional mental health provider, I see that the effects of slavery in the past was so huge that it still have strong effects until this current day. The hurt has passed down the generations and Americans have not yet figured out a way how to repair the emotional damage caused by slavery. I have asked my mother in law about what they learned about slavery when she was in school, but she didn’t remember what did the education system taught them about that part of American history. It almost seemed like that part was swept under the carpet and people want to forget about the dark parts. Unfortunately, you know what will happen when negative emotions are festered and pain are not acknowledged properly…. The past can never be changed but I feel that writing about it make all of us aware that such issues exist and help all of us to be more educated and have more empathy for other people ( with any skin color). Hopefully, when there is enough awareness, we could finally figure out a way to improve the situation together instead of watching our family suffer. I sometimes worry about having biracial children because I do not know how to raise them in this kind of situation. I can teach them to be color blind but how am I supposed to protect them from so many other people that are not even aware that they are NOT color blind?

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  21. While I commend you for your courage in speaking out and sharing some disturbing and troubling experiences with us, I think you might’ve missed your own point a bit.

    On the one hand, you preach about trying to stop hate, but then you admit “Life isn’t fair, it was never meant to be,” and “I see parents teach their children to fear police instead of respect those who put their lives on the line… ”

    Sorry, “life wasn’t meant to be fair?!” Uh, yes, it was. It’s arrogant and racist people that MAKE it unfair, not life itself. Does that mean the poor, disabled and racial minorities in the world deserve their fate?! Because that’s essentially what that statement is saying.

    And yeah respect for law enforcement is all well and good, but if they treat blacks and minorities differently than they would whites, that respect must be EARNED, badge or not. And if it’s not earned, those parents and minorities have every right to fear those cops.

    And it amazes me that after years being married to a black man and after having two mixed children, you’re still “on the fence” about racial and minority issues when you should now know better than most that there’s nothing to be “on the fence” about!

    Racism exists and you yourself has seen it, yet you STILL seem to make excuses for it. I hope you re-read what you wrote and try again.

    People shouldn’t care if a cop has a badge, it’s the LAW for civil rights to be respected in this country and NO parent should fear for their child’s life during simple traffic violations (if that!) or if their pants are too low! Especially since cops don’t seem to have trouble bringing in actual white serial killers like Dylan Roof alive!

    So by all means, do respect good cops, but please STOP making excuses for the bad ones! That right there is also exacerbating the racial problem. Also, please stop defending the world’s corrupt, biased, and grossly unequal ways with the warped belief that “that’s how it was always supposed to be.” Because no, it wasn’t. And it still does NOT have to be that way. 😑

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  22. I am married to a cop. He’s a good cop. I often find myself filled with anger and fear, as a cop dies on duty every 53 hours or less these days. I Understand the high tensions that now exist for all as a result of the bad choices made by a few. I do also try to put myself in the shoes of those who fear the cops. Thank you for trying to put yourself in my shoes as well. That is a rare thing for me to experience. My heart breaks for all of us, because I truly believe it doesn’t have to be this way. I thank you for sharing your unique perspective. You are right; hate solves nothing. We are trying to teach our children as you are trying to teach yours. I hope that by the time they are grown, enough of us will have taught our children kindness and respect and pride in themselves that they won’t have to deal with the fear we cope with. You have a beautiful family.

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    1. Mrs. Tidwell,

      Thank you for your comment. The fear and anger that you feel and experience is matched by the fear and anger that many, many “minorities” have for the profession that your husband has undertaken. Truth be old, in many instances, that fear and anger are justifiable.

      It may not be your husband’s fault. Your husband may be the best cop there is, and in the true sense of the word ‘best’.

      I believe that once that “code of silence” within the rank and file of police can be genuinely eliminated, and the bad cops are exposed by good cops, then and only then can genuine efforts to repair the unfortunate strained relationship between police and their communities truly succeed.

      The blame should be shared by both sides – the police on one hand, and the communities they are supposed to protect and serve on the other.

      Respect is not given. It is earned. The actions and words by Police either earn them respect from the community or breed the fear, anger and hatred we are discussing.

      Community actions and words from community leaders either make it easier for police partnerships or further strain such relationships.

      Community-involved policing based on a foundation of mutual trust and respect, in my opinion, will go along way in helping to heal the distrust. It starts with transparency and open line of communication.

      What are your thoughts? And that of Mr. Tidwell the good cop?

      Thanks,
      Carl

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  23. the most privileged bullshit i’ve ever read. you want to pretend you understand but you do not. if you’ve never been black and dealt with the police, who are you to tell a black man how to act? dumb ass

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  24. Did you have ulterior motives when you got married? Do you intend to ruin his life somewhere down the line? Pity for a man who is married to a careless closet white supremacist.

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