Three. Five. Eight. Those are the ages of three of Jacob Blake’s sons. Those are nearly the ages of my three daughters. Jacob Blake’s sons are my sons. They are my daughters’ siblings. They are our children.
Jacob Blake’s three sons witnessed their father being shot as he attempted get into the family SUV. The exposure to police brutality these young boys have experienced should rally us all. We should all see them as our sons. If we did – if we would allow ourselves to see these black boys as our children – we would fight for justice. We would do everything we could to stop the trauma of these daily experiences for persons of color.
Their trauma is our trauma. The trauma these children will experience is our trauma, collectively. We are all worse off because of the trauma we willingly, apathetically, or unintentionally cause. Their pain is our pain. Their tears are our tears. But instead, persons of color carry trauma with them throughout their life. And this trauma continues from one generation to the next. Why?
White supremacy. But I would argue that trauma also stems from white apathy.
We see persons of color as “other.” You know, those “other” people. The people we talk about in hushed voices. The “other” people we try to help every now and then. The “other” isn’t our neighbor. We don’t interact with the “other” daily. Instead, we become apathetic to their suffering, as we willingly turn a blind eye.
If we have a difficult time seeing persons of color as our neighbor, how will we ever see them as family? How can we ever know their struggles if we refuse to listen to their truths? How will they know that we are Christians if we don’t love them?
Imagine what would happen if we did care, if we did love as God loves, if we did decide that persons of color are our family.
What would happen if you saw Jason Blake’s 8, 5 and 3 year-old sons as my 8, 5 and 4 year-old daughters? Wouldn’t you love and support my girls? Why not do the same for Jacob Blake’s family?
My white friends, allies and family, we can do better. We can do better for our country and for persons of color, including my daughters. It’s time for all of us to accept the role we’re willing to play in fighting white supremacy. Please let the 3, 5 and 8 year-old sons of Jacob Blake know that you are fighting for their father, that you are fighting for them.
We all have a role to play from protesting, to educating others, to being involved in politics, to voting, to donating to black-owned and black-run causes and organizations, to speaking out against white supremacy. Your silence will not protect you. Your silence will not protect others. But your voice will make a difference.
Chris and I brought home our three daughters – BW, MW and SW – in May 2017. The adoption was finalized on September 6, 2018. We learn each day how to navigate life as white parents to three black girls. You can read our adoption story here.
If you enjoyed this blog post, subscribe to the blog! You’ll learn how we navigate race as white parents to black children, what adoption is really like, and parenting lessons learned along the way.