Hands Up, Don’t Shoot

This morning, all three of my children had nutella toast.

Two of my three children bit their bread into the shape of guns, and shot me.

My boy said, “Mom, hands up.”

I put my hands up.


“Michael,” I scolded. “You can’t shoot once someone puts their hands up.”

I can’t believe those words came out of my mouth this morning.

Seems like really basic stuff.

I don’t pretend to understand what white men with guns see when they see black boys. I am stunningly naive about racism. I really have to get over this. So I can talk about it with my children.

So that they don’t shoot when someone has their hands up.


In lieu of me being able to do anything except cry, I’m sharing this with you.

A Mother’s White Privilege


I posted this to my Facebook as well, prior to the grand jury decision in Ferguson:

As a mom who has struggles with this, I’m glad someone took the time to write this post.

What I want my children to know about being white in America

The other night, M and I were looking at a picture of something. There was a little African American girl in the image. “I don’t like brown girls,” M said. I was stunned.

We talked about it, as much as you can talk about this kind of thing with an almost 4-year-old.

“Brown children aren’t different than white children.” “Don’t you like Brandon? And your teacher Heavan?” Both “brown” people at M’s daycare. “It’s okay not to like a brown crayon. It’s not okay to not like brown people because they are brown.”

It was calm on both our parts. M agreed that he liked Heavan and Brandon. But, man. Start early. Don’t be colorblind. Color matters.


And this is the song that happens in my head when this shit goes down.

I know no one cares about my opinion on this. But staying silent doesn’t work for me. Not about this.

3 thoughts on “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot

  1. When it’s a crowd of black men with guns, it’s a riot. When it’s a crowd of white men with guns, it’s a Tea Party rally. Guess which one is looked at as constitutionally protected free speech?

    Nothing about the Ferguson situation is simple or easy to fix. Not sure it’s even fixable. Both sides have to want to do the hard work, and it’s much easier to complain, protest and accuse.

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