In light of recent events, I’ve decided to not post my original blog and write this one instead. This may come off as a rant or maybe it will sound too naive but I feel the need to get this off of my chest. I hope this resonates with you and if it does, please comment below.
Here in Canada, it seems like we have it together. You won’t see much in the news regarding racism. In fact, if anything the racist stuff usually comes from the United States. Often, by the time we see it there is this underlying understanding that no matter how bad racism is here it’s not as bad as it is in the USA. Unfortunately, this false narrative has allowed for many ethnic groups to be denied the ability to speak on issues that not only affect our livelihood but our lives.
I am a mother to two girls and am currently pregnant with another. Pregnancy is not a joke. What’s worse is being dismissed by health care professionals when you bring up a symptoms or concerns. I don’t have all the answers so when I put my trust in the hands of the labour and delivery team, I expect them to followed through with professionalism and due diligence. I don’t expect to be gaslit, dismissed or forgotten. Having a child should be a joyous occasion not a reason for fear.
It’s bad enough that as a Black woman there’s always this thought in the back of my head that all it takes is for my family to be at the wrong place at the wrong for my world to fall apart. My husband goes to work each day and I know that God forbid, he meets someone who’s having “a bad day” not only could his life be endanger but more than likely, as Black people we may never see justice prevail.
It’s hard to be hopeful in a world where injustice seems to be the outcome in every situation where white supremacy has a chance to rule. Lady justice is supposed to be unbiased and colourblind in a world where all men are created equal. Yet, nothing has changed to restore faith in those we’ve elected as officials to render true and effective justice. Something as simple as holding murderers accountable once proven guilty is as laughable as a comedic skit. It’s gut wrenching watching another murdered Black man calling his mother just so she could hear his final breath.
How do I explain to my children that we are living in a world that will never see them as equals no matter how nice, how tough, how qualified, how assertive, how feminine or gracious they are? How do I tell them that this is what we as their parents settled for on their behalf? How do I tell my children that the melanin in their skin is a perpetual target on their backs? How do I tell my daughters that they will be sexualized and demonized because they are Black women? That they must maintain their “niceness” and “kindness” when the micro agressions come if they want to keep their jobs? If I give birth to a son, what then? The fact that he’s Black automatically makes him looks like any other “alleged suspect” if law say so.
Yet, through my faith I have learned to be hopeful when it’s darkest. I won’t lie it sure feels dark. We’re in the middle of pandemic. Ontario is in the midst of its third lockdown. I don’t know what my delivery plan will look like when I give birth. I’m afraid. I’m afraid for my kids and my unborn child. I know that my kids will be safe but I won’t be with them. This will be the first time since I’ve had them that they won’t be with either my husband and myself, and I’m scared.
These are the moments that nobody warned me about. Nobody told me how scary motherhood could be. Nobody told me how terrifying being a Black mother could be. I’m afraid for their present and their future. I know how the system works and that’s why I get up every day and work my butt off.
I want them to know the privilege of living. I want to know that they are safe. I want them to believe that they can be anything they want to be. There’s no limit, no matter how hard the media tries to sell this fear, they need to know that it’s not true.
I don’t do it for myself. I do it for them.