look. i am not abusive to my kid. not even close. and neither is her father.
she is a happy, healthy three year old. she speaks three languages, loves to dance middle eastern style, and explains to strangers that ‘mama is from america’ but she is from bumblebee (the name of her preschool).
but, us american society, history, government is abusive to black children.
and egyptian society and government is abusive to black children. i know this cause i worked with sub saharan african refugees in cairo. i worked with ex child soldiers and teenage sex workers from sudan, refugees from eritrea and ethiopia. they are stuck here in limbo, cairo, legally segregated from the rest of egyptian society, not allowed to attend public schools, hospitals, racially profiled by the police, making 150 dollars a month is a considered a good job, living in ghettos, and struggling to either be repatriated or moved to europe, the usa, or australia.
they have been my teachers, my students, my friends.
some of them are mothers, and many of them didn’t have a real choice in the matter.
a lot of them look like me.
a lot of them don’t have the luxury of child free spaces, because many of them are children, themselves.
i know what abuse is. i grew up with it, day after day, year after year. and there are times when i would rather have my daughter with me at a bar, than with a babysitter that i barely know.
i work really hard so that my daughter knows that she is a person. because it is rare for black girls or women to be allowed to be people, a full fledged person, in this world.
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