This white, Midwestern mom has her hoodie on. Do you?
As you can see, there is no danger of my being racially profiled. None whatsoever.
But today, on the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, I wear my hoodie in solidarity with those who are.
On February 26, the anniversary of the day I became a mother, another mom lost her boy forever–a 17-year-old named Trayvon Martin.
I’m a white, Midwestern mom, and my heart aches for Sybrina Fulton. It aches for all mothers who lose their children to stupid, senseless, preventable violence.
I wear hoodies pretty frequently, but I don’t always challenge myself to think outside my own narrowly defined box. In a show about the case that aired on NPR, I heard a caller say that the Martin killing is every African-American parent’s deepest, most terrifying anxiety about their child.
Me? I wouldn’t think twice about allowing my 17-year-old son go out for a bag of Skittles and iced tea. Before he left, though, I might encourage him to buy diet Coke and a granola bar instead. Or I’d ask him to bring home a carton of milk. I would never, ever imagine that some gun-toting FBI wannabe would have a paranoid freakout and shoot him.
And that, my friends, is what we mean when we talk about white privilege. Freedom of movement is a privilege. It ought to be a right, but in a racist, armed-to-the-teeth America, it’s not.
Mull on that while you put your own hoodie up.
To join the Million Hoodie March in NYC, visit InterOccupy.org.