Words Matter: Speak Life To Your Children

This is one of my pet peeves, and it applies to black men and women equally.  Black women: do not sit down in front of your sons, day in and day out, talking about how black men are not worth shit.” Black men: do not sit down in front of your daughters day in and day out, talking about how black women “ain’t worth shit.” Hearing it over and over again will make this statement a fact, and sooner or later they are going to look in the mirror and realize that they too are a black man/black woman and make the connection that therefore they must not be “worth shit either”. Mom and dad said it so it MUST be true, right?? Black folks get beat up enough outside the home. Please make the home a sanctuary, something that edifies their spirit and self esteem and counteracts the negative messages that are out there in the world. I know everyone has had a bad experience, but why pass that baggage that can lead to self hatred and other issues on to your kids?

You might raise your son or daughter to be the exact opposite of every gripe you have about black men and/or women. If the mindset of men in general is that black women are only good for sex, when they set their sights on your daughter, that will be the attitude that they have toward her. If the mindset of women in general is that men are only good for money and paying bills, that is the mindset they will have when they set their sights on your son. These ideas do not serve us as a community. They hurt our sons and daughters. Even if you marry out and your children are biracial, often they will be recognized and categorized as black and will reap both the benefits, disadvantages and struggle of any other average black person.

I realize I’m being general, and that in individual relationships people can make themselves stand out, but IN GENERAL we are all lumped together as a people, and so collectively these societal mindsets affect us all.

Every race has good and evil in it. No one race has a monopoly on virtue or vice. It is far more constructive to teach your child to recognize good, evil and HEALTHY relationships across color lines and not equate them to a skin color. They need to embrace good in whatever shade it manifests, and stand against evil in whatever shade it appears. Black doesn’t always have your back. White isn’t always out to get you. It doesn’t serve them to trust or distrust unconditionally based on race or gender.

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