Renee L Richardson

It Breaks My Heart: Looking Racism in the Eyes

As an African American woman who has worked diligently to intellectualize, I am disappointed in our society at large. The mere heartache of having to paste my ancestry back together due to African slavery is by far hard enough. However, as a Black mother of three sons, I am truly worried about the ways in which our Black youth are dying at the hands of Police Officers.

Just the other day, a young Black 17 year old male was killed in Florida by a neighborhood patrolman. As the story unfolded on the news channel, the only thing that this young Black male was guilty of was that he was wearing a hoodie sweater, carrying a bag of Skittles (candy), talking on his cellular phone and being Black. Further, as the news unfolds, the shooter has NOT been arrested for the incident. Of course, as a Black woman, I will attend and organize as many rallies’ as I can until the shooter is arrested.

After the incident involving the murder of this young Black man hit the Black community, my youngest son was extremely upset so, he began writing: “Justice for Trayvon Martin” on his Facebook Wall. I look into my sons eyes and for the first time, I was able to feel his fears as a Black man living within this society. My son and I began to scroll down his Facebook page, reading the comments that other Facebook members began writing in response to my sons post.

Some of the comments written by all ethnic groups were in support of my sons post in that they were in agreement that some sort of justice should be given to not only Trayvon Martin but to the many situations in which Black males are mistreated in regard to police contact. At the moment, I felt proud that people from all ethnic groups were able to feel the pain of which my sons endure on a daily basis. And then the hatred began. A post came across the computer screen that read: “Well, Blacks do not belong in gated communities, he was a hoodlum and he got whatever he deserved; now get over it”. What is insult to injury is that the shooter has NOT been arrested. What message does this send to my Black people, to the world?

For a mere second, I became enraged. However, I had to catch myself because not only am I an educated Black woman but I am a role model to many. As my son and I sat there starring at the computer screen, the posts of which were in support of justice disappeared as the posts of pure disrespect and hatred became overwhelming. I am heartbroken in that I have allowed my three sons to wear hoodies most of their teenaged lives, they have purchased Skittles from grocery stores in other neighborhoods and the one thing that will never change, is that they have been Black ALL of their live. My first thought: “What if this was my child”?

As an educator, Mental Health Expert, mother, to name a few, I am heartbroken and disappointed in knowing that as I painstakingly contribute to this society, as I continuously contribute to researching methods and approaches of which will assist all ethnicities in their struggles with life, as I stand proudly as a Black woman who teaches Black children to be proud of their heritage/culture that within moments, all of which I have worked to instill into my children and into the children of whom I teach daily, can vanish within seconds; via the efforts of recycled racism.This sort of an issue is contributing to the "I don't care" attitudes of many Black youths.

As I ponder the many times of which I have encountered the ugly eyes of racism, I can honestly say that through education and experience, I have come to love myself even more. And to the man who stated: “Just get over it” to my son, I would like to say that as a people, we have been getting over it for as long as history documents, we are not the ones who cannot get over it.

I am asking that all mothers, regardless of race, take a moment to feel what I feel everyday as my three Black sons encounter the evil, cold and envious eyes of racism; take one moment to feel my nightmare as Trayvon Martin’s mother live the reality of my greatest fear…. Let us all stand together not in hatred but in love and respect for the lives taken by the ignorant hands of racism. On April 9, 2012 at about 11:00 am, no matter what color you are, walk outside, wearing a hoodie in remembrance of Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old child who is now dead just because he was Black. Because this sort of hatred has happened so much, we began to normalize these behaviors… Enough is enough…..

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Author's Bio: 

Renee L. Richardson has always possessed a passion for learning and attempting to understand people. In addition, she has a profound respect for utilizing every experience whether positive or negative as teachable moments.

Growing up in a low socio economic environment, she has defied physics so to speak with her dynamic approaches to wellness as she reflects on her past experiences as a tool of guidance. In addition, Renee has a BA in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Psychology, a MA in Education and is currently seeking a Phd in Counseling Psychology; all of which are considered bonuses to her natural talent when interacting with individuals as she assists them in appraoches and methods to foster psycholgical growth.

Renee has also written two books of which is scheduled to be published in 2012. The first book written is a semi-autobiography of which explains the childhood abuse that she endured. The book reveals the tools and methods of which concluded as successful as she encountered and balanced her extremely toxic relationships throughout childhood and well into her adult life.

As a full time teacher, adjunct professor, and motivational speaker, Renee welcomes the challenges of speaking out at public events in the attempt to touch at least one person. Her relentless efforts to spread a positive word whether in person or via the written word, she welcomes the challenges in regard to promoting change.