A Necessary Discussion: Mommy, Why Are You Crying?

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Earlier this month, I had to speak with my babies about running away from gunfire. I know I’m not the only momma that had to do that recently. It feels as if there is no place in this world that is safe. It may not be a discussion that we want to have, but it is foolish to deny the fact that it has become a necessity. 

Tears streaked my skin, caramel from the sun and the rich ethnic roots that define me. How do I tell my babies that their beautiful brown eyes and creamy toffee skin crowned with dark chocolate curls mark them as targets for hate?

Mommy, why are you crying?  Mommy, I want you to run away with me if we hear [gun]fire. 

I try to smile, but my sweet boys furtively wipe my tears away while their innocent minds search for a modicum of comfort.  

Look at the picture momma, you were happy there. Please be happy, mommy. 

The world we live in is not a hateful one. I have to believe that. If not for myself, for my boys. It is the actions of sick, disturbed people in this country that is hateful. White nationalism is not on the rise in the world, but it sure seems to be on the rise in this country. 

How is it that we have come to be a country of zealots and xenophobes when in its inception, the United States was a country of and by immigrants — people searching for freedom of their own expressions of faith? 

This is not the time for tweets. Not the time for misguided statements that cherry-pick details from a murderer’s manifesto to use as a defense for an embattled administration. This is not the time for blanket, mundane, generic statements that hate has no place here.

Wake up. Protection is not a never-ending arms race between those that fear and those that hate.

Wake up. Protection does not necessitate the denial of basic human rights because a person was born further south than you.

Wake up. Protection does not mean becoming complacent and complicit with laws that “won’t really affect me.”

We are mothers — our babies are this world’s future. We must protect them, and the world that they will inherit. All of these things affect ALL of us. 

This is OUR America. We must be UNITED in our tapestry of colors, beliefs, orientations, and ethnicities.

Vote. Speak out. Advocate.

Let our voices in all languages, with all accents, and all cadences ring with CHANGE. We will not be victims in our land and its kaleidoscope of beautiful people. It doesn’t matter what side of the debate you fall on, the reality is that what is being done now is NOT working. 

I will not have my boys cover up or deny our cultural heritage, which is interwoven throughout the history of our great state of Texas. We will fight for change.

Juntos, mano y mano, abrazando lo que esta diferente, para crecer unidos, mas fuerte y con compasion – lo que hoy es lo mas necesario en este pais. 

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Jennifer is the lucky mother of three boys, Dean (3) and Dante (2) (yup, back to back), and Diego (2 months). So life normally resembles either a crazed, juice-fueled dance party, or a giggle powered wrestling match. When she is not prowling around the house like a t-rex she teaches high school AP Social Studies, coaches UIL and is a self proclaimed "fit-ish mom" (translation: food is heaven, but the gym is therapy.) She grew up in Edinburg, and is a graduate of Florida State University with a degree in Political Science and Theater. After college, she bounced to Los Angeles where she began acting, print modeling, and worked for a high profile mortuary. After about 5 years she came back to her roots in the RGV, met her incredibly sweet husband, and the rest, as they say, is history.

2 COMMENTS

  1. TRUTH! If every teacher would do a tiny bit of outreach with sensitive populations, that would create more human HUMANS. It’s not a sociology topic, a psychology topic, nor a ‘wait till they are a little older’ topic– It’s a an every subject topic and responsibility. This was a great read, and reminder to “do something good” for another human that is unlike ourselves.

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