Two Mothers (I am not what you think)


Human Wrongs Watch

By Martha R. Bireda*

25 25 September 2018 (Wall Street International)* – The images of the weeping Angelica Rebeca Gonzalez-Garcia, the Guatemalan mother being united with her daughter, was heart-wrenching. All who watched this reunion surely shed tears with the mother. A moral and humane victory had been won.

Mothers and children
Mothers and children | Photo from Wall Street International

There is another group of weeping mothers, however, who will never be reunited with their children. These are African American mothers whose sons have been the victims of police deadly force.

Michelle Kenny, mother of Antwon Rose, the 17-year-old whose life most recently was taken by a policeman’s bullets, will never be reunited in this life with her son. She must live till she dies with the prophetic words of his poem, ” I see mothers bury their sons. I want my mother to never feel this pain.”

Antwon’s poem, “I Am Not What You Think,” was written for his tenth-grade honors class. In the poem Antwon expressed what it meant to be black in America. Why does not the pain and weeping of Michelle Kenny evoke national outrage?

When African American unarmed boys are shot in the back, it is most often local residents and Black Lives Matter, now called a terrorist group by the far right, that expresses outrage with the killing.

Sandy-Gonzalez-8-and-her-mother-Angelica-Gonzalez-Garcia-at-a-home-in-suburban-Boston-where-the

Sandy Gonzalez, 8, and her mother, Angelica Gonzalez-Garcia, at a home in suburban Boston where the two are now staying.| Photo from Wall Street International

Where is the outrage of all of the women’s groups, civil rights groups, religious groups, and political groups? Where are the voices of the liberals and progressives? Why don’t the tears of these black American mothers matter as much to U.S.mothers the tears of Latin American mothers at the border?

Where is the sense of outrage when innocent African American boys are mowed down without proof of a crime when the known shooters of school children are safely escorted from their slaughter field?

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Where is the justice that Americans so proudly proclaim? Why do those so outraged with the separation of mothers and children at the border not rail against this black injustice, lives taken without conviction or trial?

Where is the indignation for these mothers who will never be united with their sons? Is the social conditioning and the mythology of black male pathology so engrained in the American psyche that as a nation we cannot fathom a moral response to the weeping of these mothers? Does their pain matter or does the mythology of the enslaved not having human emotions come into play? What is the meaning of the national silence on the killing of black boys and the weeping of black mothers?

Do the tears of African American mothers deserve the same empathy as those of Central American mothers? This is not meant to compare suffering but to try to get Americans, especially the “good” people now protesting, to reflect on the focus of their empathy and outrage. Can they extend this empathy and outrage to the eternal separation of black mothers from their sons? Can American outrage be inclusive rather than selective and exclusive?

This is a time for national reflection and reconciliation. Are American hearts large enough to feel the pain of all mothers who are separated from their children? If so, how will we acknowledge the weeping of all our mothers?

The decision to expand our empathy and outrage will demonstrate the purity of our feelings, our motives, and our actions.

In 1977, the Bee Gees released a hit pop ballad, “How Deep Is Your Love?” The ballad really asks the question “How Deep is your empathy?” As an individual, can I become as passionate about the pain of black mothers who will never be united with their sons and whose tears are endless?

Can I believe and feel that the lives of our children who are citizens matter as much as those whose parents desire them to be citizens? Am I willing to broaden my empathy? Am I willing to be actively involved in protecting all children and preventing the trauma of family separation in all its forms?

My deeply held beliefs, feelings, and actions will demonstrate the authenticity of my empathy for all the mothers who weep for their children.

I am not what you think

Antwon Rose
5/16/2016

I am confused and afraid
I wonder what path I will take
I hear that there’s only two ways out
I see mothers bury their sons
I want my mom to never feel that pain
I am confused and afraid
I pretend all is fine
I feel like I ‘m suffocating
I touch nothing so I believe all is fine I worry that it isn’t, though
I cry no more
I am confused and afraid
I understand people believe I’m just a statistic
I say to them I am different
I dream of life getting easier
I try my best to make my dream come true
I hope that it does
I am confused and afraid

 

One Comment to “Two Mothers (I am not what you think)”

  1. True empathy does not depend upon the color of a person’s skin…. this is beyond sad….this is enraging. A young woman I work with (a beautiful soul, inside and out) was recently very hurt by a racist remark thrown carelessly over the shoulder of a bigot as she walked out the door. Bigotry, prejudice, and hardness of heart is still alive in our world. How I wish it wasn’t so. I cannot change how things are all over the world, but I can make my own small difference by treating all people with respect and honor, and hopefully, by doing so, speak loudly by my actions.

    Like

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