10 Parents Open Up About The Tragedy of A Nation

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While many different groups of people have been affected by the tragedy of this nation, parents are a special group. Black parents hold onto a fear others can never understand, while parents of other races hold the responsibility of teaching their children the meaning of love.

  1. Nicole Ari Parker

“There’s a lot going on out here.

They’re absorbing a lot of information from all angles…we assume they are as strong as we are…as we and their grandparents had to be.

As a mom we want to anchor their happiness and confidence and self esteem but can’t always keep up with the insane amount of news/hatred/violence/evil explanations 

and preparations 

and violations 

and isolation…and still protect them.

It hurts to take their innocence away in order to survive.

#holdontight

#checkin

#cryifyouhaveto

#babywegonnabeok

Image & caption credit: Nicole Ari Parker Instagram Post
  1. Ciara

“My sweet Baby Boy. I pray that when you get older A CHANGE will finally have come!! I’m going to keep my FAITH! I’m praying that the losses of our Black Kings and Queens won’t be in vain. Enough is Enough! I’m praying for UNITY! I’m praying for the powers that be to unite and decide that it’s time for a change! ❤️✊???”

Image & caption credit: Ciara Instagram Post
  1. Blake Lively

“We’ve never had to worry about preparing our kids for different rules of law or what might happen if we’re pulled over in the car. We don’t know what ir’s like to experience that life day in and day out. We can’t imagine feeling that kind of fear and anger. We’re ashamed that in the past we’ve allowed ourselves to be uninformed about how deeply rooted systemic racism is. 

We’ve been teaching our children differently than the way our parents taught us. We want to educate ourselves about other people’s experiences and talk to our kids about everything, all of it… especially our own complicity. We talk about our bias, blindness and our own mistakes. We look back and see so many mistakes which have led us to deeply examine who we are and who we want to become. They’ve led us to huge avenues of education. 

We’re committed to raising our kids so they never grow up feeding this insane pattern and so they’ll do their best to never inflict pain on another human being consciously or unconsciously. It’s the least we can do to honor not just George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Eric Garner, but all the black men and women who have been killed when a camera wasn’t rolling.

Last week we contributed $200,000 to the NACCP Legal Defense FUnd. We stand in awe of this organization and its leader, Sherrilyn lfill. And this is just a start. We also pledge to stay educated and vote in every local election. We want to know the positions of school board nominees, sheriffs, mayors, councilpersons. We want to know their positions on justice. But mainly, we want to use our privilege and platform to be an ally. And to play a part in easing pain for so many who feel as though this grand experiment is failing them.

Link in bio to the @naacp_ldf

There are petitions to sign, representatives to call, money to be donated, calls to action, or simply information to better understand the issues and how each and every one of us can help.”

Image & caption credit: Blake Lively Instagram Post
  1. Russell Wilson

“As a stepdad to one of the most amazing kids i’ve ever known, a young boy with so much passion, talent, intelligence, and love for others; as a father to one of the most bright, brilliant and vibrant young girls in the world and a new baby boy on the way… I fear. I fear for their lives just like my grandmother feared for my dad’s life and the lives of her other children. I fear because of the color of their beautiful chocolate skin.”

Image & caption credit: Russell Wilson Instagram Post
  1. Kevin Hart

“As a father I’m worried about the future of our next generation of black men & the generations after that & the ones after that. If we do not do our job right now & do what we can to have a law put in place to help us feel protected in these streets then this type of crime will continue to happen without a worry in the world. A law needs to be put in place that will make these officers accountable as well as the other officers who are present at the scene of the crime. This needs to happen….This shouldn’t even be a discussion it should be an immediate ACTION!!!!! We need all of you governors & mayors to step up and do the right thing. I don’t know how to go about this but I promise you that I will try my best to figure it out…..ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! We deserve the right to feel safe. A law like this will give us a level of comfort. Consequences to such ridiculous acts should be immediate and known by all. 20yrs in prison or life in prison….it has to be something….the other officers present that don’t stop or prevent these acts should get time as well….SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE IN THE SYSTEM NOOOOOOOOOOW!!!!!! Point blank…. Enough is Enough!”

Image & caption credit: Kevin Hart Instagram Post
  1. Katherine Heigl

“I’ve debated posting this. I don’t typically use my platform or social media to say much when it comes to the state of our country. I keep most of those thoughts to myself. I act quietly and behind the scenes. I let those with far more experience, education and eloquence be the voices for change. But I can’t sleep. And when I do I wake with a single thought in my head. How will I tell Adalaide? How will I explain the unexplainable? How can I protect her? How can I break a piece of her beautiful divine spirit to do so? I can’t sleep. I lay in my bed in the dark and weep for every mother of a beautiful divine black child who has to extinguish a piece of their beloved baby’s spirit to try to keep them alive in a country that has too many sleeping soundly. Eyes squeezed shut. Images and cries and pleas and pain banished from their minds. White bubbles strong and intact. But I lay awake. Finally. Painfully. My white bubble though always with me now begins to bleed. Because I have a black daughter. Because I have a Korean daughter. Because I have a Korean sister and nephews and niece. It has taken me far too long to truly internalize the reality of the abhorrent, evil despicable truth of racism. My whiteness kept it from me. My upbringing of inclusivity, love and compassion seemed normal. I thought the majority felt like I did. I couldn’t imagine a brain that saw the color of someone’s skin as anything but that. Just a color. I was naive. I was childish. I was blind to those who treated my own sister differently because of the shape of her beautiful almond eyes. Or her thick gorgeous hair. Or her golden skin. I was a child. For too long. And now I weep. Because what should have changed by now, by then, forever ago still is. Hopelessness is seeping in. Fear that there is nothing I can do, like a slow moving poison, is spreading through me. Then I look at my daughters. My sister. My nephews and niece. George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. The hundreds, thousands millions more we haven’t even heard about. I look and the fear turns to something else. The sorrow warms and then bursts into flames of rage. I’m not sure what most think justice looks like but right now, to me, it looks like a hard, ugly life in prison for Officer Chauvin and the others who just stood there. On their phone. I want them to pay. I want that payment to be harsh. I want it to be a painful, irrevocable consequence for their evil acts and behaviors and for those consequences to scare the shit out of every other racist still clinging to their small, stupid minded hate. The hate that soothes their weakness and cowardice. The hate that makes them feel powerful and in charge. The hate that distracts them from their meager-ness. There may have been a time when I cared to try to change the mind of a racist. To show them through example and just the right words they are wrong. I don’t care anymore. For their hearts or minds or souls. I don’t care if they die with their ugliness stamped all over them. They can take this shit to their maker and he can deal with them. What I want is for them all to be so scared by Officer Chauvin’s consequences that they are afraid to breathe in the direction of a black man, woman or child. Let alone try to hurt them. I want them to shake in their beds at night for fear that they too could end up like Chauvin. I want him to be an example of what happens to a racist in this country. I am aware that this rage is not very Christian of me. Or is it? Jesus got pretty damn mad at the temple. God brought the floods, the famine, the locust and the pillars of salt. Perhaps rage is part of the divine. Perhaps the heavens want our rage right now. Perhaps our rage is theirs. All I know is that I want it to end. Today. Forever. Whatever it takes.”

Image & caption credit: Katherine Heigl Instagram Post
  1. Reese Witherspoon

“Last night at dinner, my 7-year-old asked why all the grown ups were so upset. We spoke to him about what happened to George Floyd. Being a white mother trying to explain racism and bigotry to her white son, who did not understand why anyone would treat another human being that way, was heartbreaking. But not nearly as heartbreaking as being a victim of one of these senseless, violent, unconscionable crimes. Not nearly as heartbreaking as being one of the families who have experienced loss and harassment and discrimination daily. Not nearly as heartbreaking as being a mother who lives in fear of what will happen to her children in this world. 

I grew up going to church. We were taught that we were all the same in the eyes of God. We all breathe the same air. We all bleed the same blood. But that is not what I grew up seeing. It was as hard for me to reconcile the difference between what I was taught in church and what I see in the world. I don’t want that for my kids. Or for yours. 

We have to be held accountable for what is happening in this country. What happened to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery – and countless others – can not go without justice. Please talk to your children about racism, privilege, bigotry and hate. If you aren’t talking to them, someone else is. 

Regarding comments: I urge you to share this space for meaningful discussion, not hate. There is enough hate in the world. I hope this can be a space for discussion, understanding, growth and LOVE. We all need more of that.”

Image & caption credit: Reese Witherspoon Instagram Post
  1. Porsha Williams

“I pray for a better future for you baby! You’re going to do great things I can feel it! ???? @pilarjhena #PajamasandWatermelon

Image & caption credit: Porsha Williams Instagram Post
  1. Iskra

“This is my beautiful innocent black baby.

As your mother I will protect you in anyway I can. But I know that will never be enough. Your skin colour will impact your life in a way I will never be able to understand.

Your father @philipapayne will have to teach you things as a privileged white child I never had to learn.

Your friends will need to be allies and speak up for you at times when simply being you could get you hurt or killed.

Now it’s on all of us to educate ourselves.

I’ve asked far too many questions to my black loved ones when they are already exhausted and grieving for their community. It’s not on them to educate us privileged folk. We need to do our own research into the deep rooted history of racism.

Ask ourselves questions like why we are shown the graphic videos of black people being murdered on the news yet you’ll never see a video of a white person being murdered?

There are many ways in which systematic oppression is used everyday, especially to continue to spread fear and separation between races.

Who is going to read up with me?

I will find my own materials from black journalists and thought leaders but please text me any recommendations if you feel up to it +1(310-340-1989)

If you’re not outraged and trying to figure out how you can do your bit ask yourself if your daughter or son, sister or brother was at risk everyday of being murdered for the colour of their skin would you not be doing everything you could. Every opportunity, every micro aggression, constant racial profiling all feeding into oppression.

Signing petitions, donating and calling to support is the least we can do.

Let’s have the discussions with our families, campaign to get police reform and continue to learn more so we can combat systemic racism everyday.

We must use our white privilege to do better in memory of all those who’ve had their lives ended, futures taken and have to fight discrimination every single day…

#justiceforgeorgefloyd 

#justiceforahmaudarbery 

#justiceforbreonnataylor 

#blacklivesMatter

Any stories you’d like me to share on my platform text me +1(310-340-1989) as I often miss DMs❤️ Graphics by @courtneyahndesign

Image & caption credit: Iskra Instagram Post
  1. Victor Cruz

“I had the most difficult conversation with my daughter about the color of her skin last night. How there are people in this world that will dislike you solely because of your race and background. Without ever knowing your story or struggles. Could tell she was a bit confused at first but she nodded in agreement right before falling asleep. I nodded in sadness as she slept. This is America.”

Image & caption credit: Victor Cruz Instagram Post
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