Michigan Mom Shares What It’s Like Having Black Children [VIDEO]
George Floyd's death brought something to light that we've all known: People judge us on our appearances. Whether it's our apparent age, the way we're dressed, or the color of our skin, sometimes boxes get checked without any knowledge of what's on the inside.
Oftentimes, it's reasonable to make assumptions. You may see me for the first time and decide right away that I don't exercise as much as I should. Fair enough.
Other assumptions are more damning. My daughter-in-law is African American. She grew up in Fenton and has shared what it's like to have security guards' eyes trained on her as she shops. She and my stepson have both expressed concerns that their children -- particularly their sons -- will grow up in a world where assumptions about their characters are made before their characteristics are allowed to speak for themselves.
Rachael Lockwood is the mother of five white children and three children who are African American. Rachael and her family live on the west side of Michigan and she shares her concerns for family with WOOD-TV in the video below.
"When I have my black children with me, there is a different kind of presence," she says. "People are suspicious."
She says that raising three adopted African American children has shown her what generations of black parents have had to deal with.
"We're having talks with my black sons that I never had with my white sons," she said. "We have conversations about when we're in the grocery store that our hands stay out of our pockets, that you don't wear a hood. I'm sad that those [topics] are even part of our conversation."
Lockwood fears that her sons grow up, they will be judged on how they look. She goes on to say that George Floyd's death has impacted her other children as well, noting that they've become more protective of their siblings.