Author: Roxanne Bogalis 

Hey girl,

I see you. Yeah, you. You, the one always happy to see me in our mom circles. The one who tells me how I “light up a room.” I see you when you practice your ally theater. When you put on that safety pin of justice. I see you when you tell me you “voted for love”. I see you when you make your innocent comments. “You’re not like most black people.” What does that even mean? Does it mean that I’m just proper enough not to offend your preconceived notions. Is my hair straight enough? My voice quiet enough? My demeanor calm enough? Is my name white enough?
Do I still get to be that shiny token in your pocket that you bring up to prove you can’t be racist because you have A black friend? Is your quota filled by having me in your space? See I notice the way you treat my sisters when they talk a little louder, use stronger emotions, and get so fed up with the white nonsense that they wreck your feelings while they smash through barriers. I see how you debase and shame them for daring to use a tone you don’t approve of. I see how you look to me for support and encouragement that it’s ok to be mad at my sisters for their anger. Do you think I’m not as angry because my fury seethes under the surface with eye rolls and heavy sighs?
Most importantly, I see you when I, too, get angry. When I say enough is enough! When my tone is no longer one you like. I see how you whisper behind your hands when I’m around. I see how your circle of inclusivity is now closed to my brown skin that can no longer be ignored. I see how that look of it’s “not about race I’m just afraid of you” now crosses your face. See, me embracing my power is scary to you, and that’s ok. It’s going to get a little uncomfortable. It’s going to get a little rough. And no, you won’t come out on top, but that’s ok too.
A new dawn is coming, one where you will have to decide what side of the line you stand on. Are you going to continue your ally theater role, or are you going to roll your sleeves up, and get dirty with me? Are you going to earn your place in my life? Are you going to prove your worth, or are you going to turn your back on me as the many before you have done? I have no need in my life for fake friends. It’s time for you to suit up, or shut up and learn.
An angry black mother
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