By Danee Kiernan
Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing with Style #39
Like most people who watch the news, I have been following coverage of the Trayvon Martin story, the young teen inFloridawho was followed, shot and killed while walking home.
Reactions are emotional, strong and varied and everyone seems to have something to say.
I am white. As far as I know, I have never been racially profiled in a department store, at the airport or walking through a neighborhood. I have not been the target of racist comments and honestly, I don’t think much about my skin color on a daily basis.
My oldest son has an olive complexion, black hair and dark brown eyes. He has broad shoulders and stands about 6’2”. He is a professional and he travels on business… a lot….
EVERY time he goes through security at the airport, he is stopped, taken aside and searched. At first we thought it was coincidence, but it never stopped and still continues today. My son’s skin color results in additional security checks (I am assuming it’s not his suit or laptop).
My daughters are Mayan and have brown skin and jet black hair. Out in public, we have received the following comments from people who feel it is their right to comment about my children …… “What are they?”…..”What are they mixed with?”…”Are those immigrants here legally?”….”They can’t be your daughters, you’re white”…..
My preschool son is Native American and African American. He has brown skin, curly black hair and is completely adorable. In public so far, people have been kind with their comments…..”He’s so cute”…..”What a handsome little boy”…..”I love his hair”…Some people, however, are less friendly. They look and turn away uncomfortably or stare as we walk by. I often wonder what they are thinking, but in general have the feeling that it’s not good ……
I watched the news again tonight and saw a young boy’s shocked and grieving parents. I heard their sadness. I felt their overwhelming pain in my heart and I went to bed with the awful realization that I am the parent of children who face the reality daily that they will be profiled, commented about and possibly murdered simply because of the color of their skin.
Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch. She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner. She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce. Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.
Danee Kiernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams. She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 11 children.
You can reach Danee Kiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org