All children are the same — with their pure hearts, big dreams and the will to change the world. But sadly, the world judges their innocence based on the color of their skin.
Mater Mea, a website dedicated to “tell the stories of women of color at the intersection of motherhood and career,” recently released an emotional video highlighting the fears mothers have when it comes to raising black children. It also discusses how society perceives the children of color.
The video features well-known writers and activists, including Yolanda Sangweni, Feminista Jones, Nasozi Kakembo, and Ibi Zoboi. It is the first in a series titled “These Are Our Children.”
“Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Trayvon [Martin] — those could be my sons,” Jones said in the video. “And it really hits home because you think, ‘Oh my gosh, no matter how well I think I’m doing this, when they step out of that door, it’s a whole other conversation to be had.’”
The truth is, racism in America doesn’t begin and end with police brutality.
African-American children face discrimination from a very young age. They are marginalized within the school system. In fact, a study published earlier this year revealed people are more likely to misidentify a toy as a weapon if they see a black kid holding it, even if that child is 5 years old. The negative bias just keeps on getting stronger as these children grow.
“My son is going to be very, very tall and he’s going to be big. I don’t want people thinking my son is some kind of monster, or predator, or beast,” exclaimed another mother. “That’s how they talk about our children — particularly the teenagers. They think that they’re superhuman just because of their size.”
Another sociological study proved that black students with behavioral problems are more likely to receive criminalized discipline in schools in comparison to their white counterparts who more commonly receive medical intervention.
All children deserve a safe, happy childhood, and the world needs to realize that the color of your skin does not dictate your life choices or actions.
Watch the incredible video above.