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Talking with my kids about Charlottesville


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Talking with my kids about Charlottesville

Why I can’t look away from the hate

We want to look away.

Close our eyes to ugliness. Turn our backs on racism. Bolt the door against bigotry.

We want to change the channel – and shut out the horrifying images from Charlotteville. A car plowing into a crowd rallying against racism. Bodies flying. Screams. Panic. Confederate flags wielded as symbols of white supremacy. Nazi emblems brandished on a college campus.

We want to pray for unity, to hashtag #lovealwayswins — and to believe that is enough to turn this tide.

It is terrifying to stare into that abyss, to feel yourself being engulfed by despair. It is tempting to crawl beneath the covers and hope the country somehow heals itself.

But some of us don’t have that luxury. Some of us can’t afford to simply close the curtains because — no matter how many bolts we use, how thick the door, how many channels we change — that hate is not going away.

It is coming for us.

It is coming for people who look like my beautiful, innocent African-American children. It is coming for people like me who were born in other countries and carry our roots proudly. It is coming for those who worship in mosques and synagogues.

It is barrelling toward our communities, sitting next to us in the workplace, ordering lattes at our neighborhood Starbucks, teaching in our children’s schools.

In Charlottesville, hate wore red MAGA hats and faces reddened with fury. It carried Tiki torches and cosplay shields. In our daily life, it wears khaki pants and a polite smile.

It is the slight wince that passes across a soccer mom’s face when my brown-skinned daughters hug her white child. It is the passing comment when a co-worker wonders aloud about the value of diversity. It is the fellow customer berating a barista who speaks accented English. It is the assistant principal in a Texas school who writes a children’s book based on a white supremacist meme.

It is all around us.

And we cannot look away. I cannot look away.

I cannot just brush off the sight of neo-Nazis swarming through Charlottesville. I cannot pretend that is “not America,” a country founded on a foundation of Native American genocide, slavery and segregation.

Instead, I think about the four little girls, not much older than my daughters, who were dressed in their Sunday best when they were killed by a white supremacist bombing at a Birmingham church.

I think about Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice, children never allowed to be children, denied the chance to become adults. I think about the nine worshippers at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, gunned down as they prayed by a terrorist who thought his skin color granted him superiority.

I think about Srinivas Kuchibhotla, the Indian-born engineer shot to death in a Kansas bar by an immigrant-hating Navy veteran, about the numbers …


Please read original article- Talking with my kids about Charlottesville

I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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