Racism takes its toll on Black lives every day. Fear for a child’s safety is a particular burden for Black parents. Melissa Rohlfs has this Perspective.
My family lives in a middle-class neighborhood on the Peninsula. My husband and I have advanced degrees. He works in tech. I'm an academic.
Our son is only 12, but he's taller than me. As he grew, my anxiety for his well-being set in. You see, I’m a black mother living in America. And while his father is white, and his eyes are hazel green, by America’s "skin color-to-trustworthiness” ratio, my son’s tan skin puts him at risk.
My son has much to contribute to this world. He loves studying Mandarin, volunteered to plant a veggie garden for an elderly neighbor, and was just named "Student of the Year" by his teachers. Some days he wants to be a pilot, other days he wants to design the aircraft. He likes Spongebob and eats ice cream.
Yet time and time again, people in my own community see my son's size and complexion and perceive him as dangerous.