Tuesday, April 28, 2015
We Are Not Animals Or Robots, We Are Mothers
I am here to invite contemplation on mother shaming. I don’t want to talk about that video of the mother who snatched her child up out of the street. I don’t want to serve White Supremacy’s platter of Assorted Black Debates. That video was circulated to shame us. That video was circulated to distract us.
I want to talk about Freddie Gray’s mother. I am here to bear witness for her. I want to talk about the fact that she had to bury her son in one moment and be trotted out as a peace keeper for the deathbringers.
As if she had the power to control the way her soul detonated the fuse in every conscious Black person. As if she could contain the flaming of particles in her spirit which beg God to do it, just do it, just burn every fucking thing to the ground. As if she should apologize.
There is a part of every Black mother of every dead child who wants to snatch the hearts out of their child’s murderer and feed it to their families. There is a part of every Black mother of every dead child who would send assassins in the night to peel the skin off of her child’s murderers; make lampshades out of it and use their teeth as beaded trim. There is a part of every Black mother of every dead child who knows the oblivious can only be abused out of their ignorance. This is the truth. In Baltimore, her weeping soul screeching has been heard. Prayers are always answered, even after they have been deleted or recalled by common sense and survival.
I want to you bear witness to the violence done to the mothers of dead Black sons and daughters. I want you to know that the mothers of Black children live in a constant state of gathering up the ocean. I want you to think about how stoic we seem, how pulled together, how grim and determined. I want you to think about how busy you make us with your demands for respectability. How unnatural you make us.
But, more than that, think about how Black mothers are forced to apologize. How we are always asked to apologize for allowing our children to wake up in the morning inside of our home. We apologize for allowing them to go to sleep in our homes. We apologize for allowing them to put food in their bodies. We apologize for buying them clothing. And every 28 hours we are asked to apologize for allowing them to leave the house. And we apologize for yelling at God when they don’t come home because they made eye contact with the wrong White person. We apologize for reproducing.
We shame mothers for having a biological directive to insure our genetic material is passed on. We shame mothers for having instincts. We are not animals or robots. No more apologies.
It is time for society to begin apologizing to us.