Some questions for parents (especially White parents) in this moment when hate and division is being proffered in our name
Sometimes when I run through my city of Oakland, CA (and the elite enclave of Piedmont wholly surrounded by it), my mind wanders and I get to wondering what the ranking would be of the most destructive forces in Oakland's history. There are many. But it's hard to avoid the conclusion that the choices made by many, many White parents in their kids' best interests through the decades to be easily in the top 5 — choices that I can sit back and judge as a childless person and not have to grapple with. As I lose new-parent friends to Denver and Salt Lake and other places that aren't here, it seems impossible to balance what's good for kids with what's good for the world. I'm very thankful that some parents are trying.
I REALLY felt this one. Parenting has cracked me open in the most astounding, beautiful, awe inspiring ways. But it's also triggered all of my highly sensitive emotions and fears. Especially parenting in our increasingly fractured world. Thank you for making space to feel all the things and reflect on how to coexist and move forward.
I'm not even a parent and these questions gave me chills! well done garrett!
I LOVE this sentiment and so many of these questions. (You know how I love questions.) And you are my go-to for truly open-ended questions in real life!
Having said that, these felt off to me:
"Knowing how hard it is to be a parent, why would you choose to make it harder for other kids and parents, especially kids and parents for whom our society already creates so many extra barriers (because of race, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, etc.)?
Knowing how much you love your kids, why would you choose to make life harder for anybody else’s kid— somebody else’s Queer or trans kids, somebody else’s Black and Brown kids, somebody else’s poor kid?
Is this why you became a parent? To make your world smaller and smaller? Or were you hoping for something more expansive, something more connected, something more communal?
Do you honestly believe that the politicians telling you to hate or fear somebody else right now— A Black Studies Professor, a non-binary teenager, a beloved social studies teacher— love you and your kids? Or are they using you?"
If we're genuinely asking our mama bear parents where their motivation comes from, and the pain and fear underneath that motivation, don't these feel like questions that--in their very framing--would put people on the defensive? Are there ways to make these questions less rooted in your/our worldview and more curious?